§ Mr. Pearson
Existing legislation in Northern Ireland allows a measure of rate relief on any hall where the wider community uses the facilities. Typically uses such as Sunday schools, community based youth clubs, OAP clubs, playgroups and church meetings are considered `charitable' and apportioned out as exempt. The degree of relief available is in direct proportion to the use of the facility for charitable and broad community purposes. There is no upper limit on the amount of relief available if the relevant criteria are satisfied.
I can confirm that existing reliefs, including that which allows exemption from rates for properties used for public, charitable and certain other functions such as 'public religious worship', are currently under 340W consideration within the context of the Review of Rating Policy. No decisions have yet been taken. It is intended to address these issues in a policy paper to be published later this year.