DESCRIPTIVE RUBRIC

Valuation for rating - Office premises used by a Water Authority - Prescribed value Order - Whether offices were "mainly used for the purposes of the undertaking for the supply of water" - Water Undertaking (Rateable Values) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order (SI 1995 No. 3252)

North of Scotland Water Authority v The Assessor for the Highland and Western Isles Valuation Joint Board
24 July 1998
LTS/VA/1998/10

The appellants occupied certain office premises which they used solely for administration and control of their two functions as water authority and sewerage authority respectively. The main activity related to water. It was contended by the respondent that, in the context of valuation for rating, the subjects ought properly to be seen as being used for the purpose of "an office" as there should be no reference to purposes beyond the physical boundaries of the subjects. A question also arose as to whether the subjects could properly be said to be used "mainly" for the purposes of the water undertaking when they were used for two functions of broadly similar importance.

Held (1) that on a plain reading subject used for control and administration of an undertaking were used for the purposes of the undertaking; (2) dicta based on Moon v London County Council 1931 AC 151 were not in point; (3) in the context the test of "mainly" was satisfied by a clearly defined major share; (4) the office premises fell within the prescribed class as premises "mainly used for the purposes of the undertaking for the supply of water"; (5) they should not be entered separately on the Roll.

Cases referred to:

Assessor for Edinburgh v SSEB 1969 SLT 46
Assessor for Lothian Region v Edinburgh District Council 1989 SC 267
Belhaven-Westbourne Church Congregational Board v Glasgow Corporation 1965 SC (HL) (1)
Bogie v Assessor for Edinburgh 1939 SC 262
C.I.R v Lambhill Ironworks Limited 1950 SC 331
East Kilbride Sports Council v Assessor for Strathclyde Region 1986 SLT 379
Fawcett Properties Ltd v Buckingham County Council 1961 AC 636
Gilchrist v Assessor for Edinburgh 1942 SC 327
Lothian Regional Assessor v Heriot Watt University (unreported) 29 May 1998
Moon v London County Council 1931 AC 151
Royal Blind Asylum and School v Lothian Regional Council 1981 SLT 109 and 1982 SLT 89
Scottish Nuclear Limited v Assessor for Lothian Region 1995 SC 3
Scottish Nuclear Limited v Assessor for Lanarkshire Valuation Joint Board a decision of 10 September 1997
Scottish Power plc v Assessor for Lothian Valuation Joint Board a decision of 18 December 1997
Total Oil Marine v Assessor for Grampian Region 1981 SC 125
United Orange Lodge v Holborn Borough Council 1937 Free All ER 281


See full decision:  LTS/VA/1998/10