Royal Parks Agency: Taxation

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 25th January 2010.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning), Co-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much accrued to the Royal Parks Agency from the encroachment rate payable in Bushy Park in each of the last 10 years; when the rate was first levied; what rate was charged in each of the last 10 years; how many dwellings and hereditaments are liable for the rate; and whether the rate is classified as a tax by the Office for National Statistics.

Photo of Margaret Hodge Margaret Hodge Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Culture and Tourism)

The Royal Parks (TRP) advise that there are currently 45 commercial, 84 residential, and 17 utility encroachment licenses recorded for Bushy Park. TRP advise that they have accrued the following encroachment income over the past 10 years:

Financial year Income( 1) (£)
1999-2000 34,916
2000-01 104,282
2001-02 49,748
2002-03 117,672
2003-04 73,116
2004-05 67,003
2005-06 75,923
2006-07 64,765
2007-08 90,937
2008-09 64,583
(1) These figures exclude British Telecom encroachments which are licensed under a Master Agreement covering all parks.

The procedure for licensing encroachments has been in operation since prior to the turn of the previous century, and the licence fee is for the use and occupation of Bushy Park land. The level of fee is assessed individually to reflect the extent of the encroachment on park land.

The licence fee is not classified as a tax by the Office for National Statistics.

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