Local authority guidance on compensating small businesses affected by roadworks has effectively become irrelevant and must be updated, according to an MP backing C-Store’s Works Must Pay campaign.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, said the increase in business rate relief next year – although welcome - would remove the main potential source of compensation for many small stores.

Under current guidance retailers can approach their local Valuation Office Agency to seek a reduction in business rates, but only in the event of negligent action by the highways authority or contractor.

With the rate relief threshold rising to £12,000 next year, compensation through rate relief will no longer apply to many small stores.

“If people have been able to gain compensation through a rates rebate, this has cut off an avenue for compensation,” Mulholland told C-Store. “Other avenues of compensation will need to be looked at. The current guidance has become irrelevant.”

The Liberal Democrat MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for ‘Roadworks justice for local businesses’ in response to the Works Must Pay campaign, which C-Store is running alongside sister title The Morning Advertiser.

Utilities have a statutory obligation to compensate businesses which directly front the works. However, the loss-of-profit threshold is so high that claims for compensation are rarely successful.