Enterprise Zones
Enterprise Zones (EZs)
England, Wales
Former special zone introduced by the Government in the United Kingdom in 1980 to encourage industrial and commercial activity, usually in economically-depressed areas. Under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, local authorities could designate land within their areas as EZs. In total, 38 enterprise zones were designated between 1981 and 1996. Each zone was normally designated for a fixed life of ten years and the final designations came to an end in 2006.
EZs were a government experiment to see to what extent the relaxation of planning control, exemption from non-domestic rates and certain other fiscal incentives, could help with the regeneration of run-down and derelict urban areas.
EZs provided a number of benefits to the developers, investors and occupiers of industrial and commercial properties, including:
• Exemption from business rates for industrial and commercial premises.
• Simplified planning procedures, whereby planning permission was not required for new developments provided that they complied with the published planning scheme for the zone. These differed slightly from one zone to another, for example in respect of the amount of retail development that would be permitted.
• Exemption from industrial training levies.
• Faster processing of applications for firms requiring warehousing free of Customs duties.
• 100% tax allowances for capital expenditure on constructing, improving or extending commercial or industrial buildings.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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