Misery over pub rates hike

AN AWARD-winning Suffolk pub is facing an uncertain future after its landlords were suddenly given a 70 per cent increase in business rates and told they owed £16,500 in a backdated bill.

AN AWARD-winning Suffolk pub is facing an uncertain future after its landlords were suddenly given a 70 per cent increase in business rates and told they owed £16,500 in a backdated bill.

The Cherry Tree, in Cumberland Street, Woodbridge, now has the highest rateable value among seven pubs and two hotels in the town.

Landlords Geoff and Sheila Ford said they were being unfairly punished after improving the Adnams-owned Grade II-listed building which they have run for nearly eight years.

Today the couple are deciding whether to appeal against their new rateable value and they are forced to consider their future at the Cherry Tree.

Mr Ford said: “This is giving our staff great concern for the viability of the pub and their careers. This is unreasonable and discourages businesses like ourselves from investing in our long term growth as opposed to simply drawing profits.”

A spokeswoman for the Valuation Office said: “The rateable value of pubs is determined by the open market rental value it would reach, which is in turn based on its trading potential.

Most Read

“If changes are made that have an impact on the trading potential in any way, we are obliged to ensure the rateable value reflects this to make the system as fair as possible.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter