Acomb Rates Discount – list of properties published

Mystery deepens over Council decision as FOI response reveals only 4 empty units may be affected.

11-15 Front Street

11-15 Front Street

The Labour Cabinet came under fire earlier in the month when it nodded through a proposal to give 50% Rates relief to any empty property in the “Acomb” area that was brought back into use.

Now the Councils list of empty retail (and commercial) properties in the YO24 and YO26 area has been published.

The list reveals that the main “problem” property (which is also very prominent) is 11 – 15 Front Street (part of which was formerly occupied by Superdrug). We understand that the property was sold be the Coop Bank a couple of years ago and is now understood to be back on the market.

Many will feel that this site needs redeveloping although what Rates discount would apply to new properties remains unclear.

As we have said before, there is a good case for improving on the government scheme which gives a Rates discount on re-occupied properties which have been empty for more than 12 months.

However if discounts apply from day one then this could rightly be regarded as unfair competition by existing traders.

It was pointed out at the time, that the area of benefit was ill defined and – if it was intended to boost the Front Street area – then it needed to be focussed on longer term empty properties.

With the recession now ending it appeared that most shops had either been occupied or were under offer. Some prime sites are now understood to be changing hands at a premium.

The LibDems submitted the following comments to the meeting earlier in the month

The Liberal Democrat Group was disappointed that the Labour Cabinet did not support a comprehensive regeneration proposal for Front Street at July’s full Council.

This proposal, which uses powers given to Councils by the Coalition Government, seems to have been cobbled together in a rush – as the rewrites in the paper published on the council website indicate. Key details such as which exact area the discount will apply within are missing (the council papers refer only to “Acomb”). The paper does not explain why the scheme is restricted to retail premises (the similar Government scheme refers to all businesses) and it does not explain how temporary ‘pop-up’ units will affect entitlements.

We would also like further information on how the process will work given the September deadline for applications. The concern that the discount could be used by national chains, moving into prime sites immediately as leases become available, is not addressed and no alternative proposals are considered e.g. focusing discounts on properties which have been empty for over 3 months (business rates are not payable on a commercial property for the first 3 months that it is empty).

The Council needs to act promptly to clear u the confusion caused by its decision

Licensing application for Front Street premises

Conlans Café at 6a Front Street

Application for the grant of a premises licence to allow for
•Recorded Music Mon – Sat 07:00hrs-23:00hrs Sun 08:00hrs-22:00hrs
•Supply of Alcohol – On and off sales Mon – Sat 12:00hrs-23:00hrs Sun 12:00hrs-22:00hrs
•Opening Times Mon – Sat 07:30hrs – 23:00hrs Sun 09:00hrs-22:00hrs

The last date for representations is 26/11/13. Quote reference CYC 0227496a

All applications can be viewed in full at the council offices with prior notice. Contact the licensing section on 01904 552512 for an appointment to view. Representations must be made in writing in and sent to the Licensing Office, Hazel Court EcoDepot, James Street, York YO10 3DS.

Representations must relate to one or more of the 4 licensing objectives of the Act namely, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

Man’s cheekbone broken in York pub assault

Marcia Grey

Marcia Grey

Police are investigating an assault outside a pub in York which left a man suffering from a broken cheekbone.

The victim, aged 29, was having a drink outside the Marcia Grey in Acomb at around 6pm on Thursday 17 October 2013, when he was approached by a man who punched him twice in the face.

He was admitted to York Hospital where he underwent treatment for his injuries.

Officers are appealing to anyone who witnessed the assault or knows who is responsible to contact them with information.

Anyone who can help officers with their enquiries is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option 2 – and ask for PC Damion Liversidge or York police.

Alternatively, information can be emailed to

If you prefer not to give your name, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please quote reference number 12130180978 when passing information about this incident.