Madness of VAT move on restoration

First published in Our View by

A Government change which means that those altering and restoring listed buildings will now have to pay VAT is likely to have a significant impact on efforts to try and bring many of Bradford’s derelict and disused buildings back into use.

It is difficult to argue with Andrew Mason’s description of the decision to remove the VAT exemption on such schemes as ‘barking mad’ as it could affect work to restore thousands of listed buildings around the district.

The Telegraph & Argus has long fought for disused and derelict brownfield sites to be used for housing as part of our Save Our Green Spaces campaign.

This latest change to try to boost central Government coffers will do nothing to help this cause.

Instead, it is likely to make developers think twice about taking on projects that could bring some of the many derelict mills, factories, chapels, warehouses and many other buildings around the district back into use.

Margins are already extremely tight for developers, and removing the current VAT exemption will add 20 per cent to material costs.

This will simply add to the pressure to build on our green spaces and leave existing buildings disused and derelict.

The Government needs to rethink this shortsighted decision.

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