Valuation for rating – Refusal of Committee of request to refer to Tribunal – Appeal – Retail Warehouse – Valuation of dexion style supported storage floors – whether general issue likely to be used as a precedent – Lands Tribunal Act 1949, Section 1(3BA) – Valuation Appeal Committee (Procedure in Appeals under the Valuation Acts)(Scotland) Regulations 1995, Regulation 5(d)

Comet Group plc v Assessor for Renfrewshire
30 August 2006

In the valuation of a retail warehouse, the Assessor valued dexion style (metal frame) supported storage floors as mezzanine floors valued at the appropriate percentage of the relevant area rate arrived at on the normal comparative basis. The appellants’ position was that they were almost always tenants’ additions, not included in the actual rents, and should therefore be valued on a decapitalised cost basis. The appellants elsewhere, and other occupiers, had this type of storage. It was not a major element in individual valuations, but it was argued that the fact that assessors took a co-ordinated approach would make it a general issue. The assessor argued that not every item in the Scottish Assessors’ Association guidance notes became a general issue when challenged. This was the largest example of such storage floors in the area, but less than 2% of value.

Held, refusing the appeal, this was a dispute of valuation opinion in the absence of rental evidence, of a type which can arise day in day out. The fact that it involved a choice between two valuation methods did not make it a fundamental issue. It was accepted that the decision was likely to provide guidance in other cases but it was a matter of degree whether it met the test of ‘general’. There was no suggestion that it arose in all or even most retail warehouses. The fact of inclusion in a national guidance statement would not be sufficient in itself, but in any event there was no dispute over the terms of the guidance, rather on its application to this particular form of storage, applying well-established principles. Weighing it up, it was not sufficient to satisfy the test: this was a relatively minor issue of valuation judgment in one particular situation, albeit the situation arose in some other cases.

No cases referred to.

See full decision:  LTS/VA/2006/01