Vines Ltd v de Mauny (Valuation Officer), Court of Appeal - Lands Tribunal, September 20, 2010, [2010] UKUT 322 (LC)

Resolution Date:September 20, 2010
Issuing Organization:Lands Tribunal
Actores:Vines Ltd v de Mauny (Valuation Officer)
 
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UT Neutral citation number: [2010] UKUT 322 (LC)

LT Case Number: RA/3/2008

TRIBUNALS, COURTS AND ENFORCEMENT ACT 2007

RATING - valuation - 2005 list - car showroom and premises - whether evidence of agreed rents and rating assessments nearby sufficient to arrive at accurate value for main space or whether evidence further afield more reliable - whether both showrooms on site to be valued at same rate - whether workshop and valet building of equal value - quantum - whether value to be adjusted to reflect masking - appeal dismissed.

IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL AGAINST A DECISION OF THE

SURREY VALUATION TRIBUNAL

BETWEEN VINES LIMITED Appellant

and

ANDREW QUENTIN de MAUNY Respondent

(Valuation Officer)

Re: Car Showroom and Premises

10-12 Bonehurst Road

Salfords

Redhill

RH1 5EG

Before: N J Rose FRICS

Sitting at 43-45 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3AS

on 28 and 29 July 2010

Clive Moys, instructed by Bisset Moffatt Hill, chartered surveyors of Crawley, by direct professional access, for Appellant

Timothy Morshead, instructed by HMRC solicitor, for Respondent.

The following case is referred to in this decision:

Land Securities Plc v Westminster CC [1992] 2 EGLR 15

The following cases were also cited:

Allen (VO) v Freemans Plc [2009] UKUT 240 (LC)

Austin Motor Co Ltd v Woodhead (VO) (1968) 15 RRC 3

Bovis Group Pension Fund Ltd v GC Flooring & Furnishing [1984] 1 EGLR 123

Bradford (VO) v Vitesse [2009] RA 427

BT v Broadway (VO) (1976) RA 297

FW Woolworth v Christopher (VO) (1972) 17 RCC 341

Hill v Thompson (VO) 259 EG 341

Imperial College v Ebdon (VO) [1986] RA 233

Lotus and Delta v Culverhouse (VO) (1976) RA 152

Wyre Forest DC v Stokes (VO) [1974] RA 361

DECISION

Introduction

  1. This is an appeal by the ratepayer, Vines Limited, against the decision of the Surrey Valuation Tribunal (the VT), reducing the assessment in the 2005 rating list of a car showroom and premises known as 10-12 Bonehurst Road, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 5EG from £347,500 to £307,000. The ratepayer contended that the correct assessment was £220,000. The respondent valuation officer, Mr Andrew de Mauny MRICS, considered that the assessment determined by the VT was not excessive.

  2. Mr Clive Moys of counsel appeared for the appellant. He called factual evidence from Mr Adrian Houslop, the appellant's group financial controller, and expert evidence from Mr Roderick Bisset BSc, MRICS, a director of BMH Properties Limited trading as Bisset Moffatt Hill, chartered surveyors of Crawley, West Sussex and Slough, Berkshire. Counsel for the respondent VO, Mr Timothy Morshead, called Mr de Mauny to give expert evidence. Mr de Mauny is a senior valuer in the Reading Group of the Valuation Office Agency, based at the Reigate office in Redhill. Mr Morshead also called factual evidence from Mr Gordon How, who is employed at the Chelmsford office of the Valuation Office Agency.

  3. The material day and the effective date is 14 May 2005. The antecedent valuation date (AVD) is 1 April 2003. I inspected the appeal hereditament internally and externally, accompanied by Mr Bisset and Mr de Mauny, on 14 September 2010. On the same day I made accompanied inspections of certain other showrooms which had been cited as comparables.

    Facts

  4. From an agreed statement of facts and the evidence I find the following facts. The appeal hereditament is situated on the east side of the A23, a busy main road linking Redhill in the north to Horley and Crawley to the south. It was the main London to Brighton Road prior to construction of the M23 motorway in the early 1970s. The appeal hereditament is located approximately 2.7 miles south from the centre of Redhill and some 2 miles north of Horley. Central Crawley is approximately 6.5 miles to the south. The distance to the nearest point of access to the M25 is approximately 5.75 miles and, to the M23, 4.3 miles.

  5. A BMW dealership has been established in Salfords for about 20 years. The appellant took over the dealership from L and C BMW in 2000 and traded from freehold premises at 1 Bonehurst Road, which lie approximately 450m to the north of the appeal hereditament. The franchise agreement between the appellant and BMW UK Limited is subject to review every five years. It was renewed for a further five years in 2003, conditional upon the provision of a suitable new showroom. Such a showroom had to meet BMW's latest specification, including dedicated facilities for the new Mini franchise. The site at 1 Bonehurst Road was not capable of accommodating a showroom of the required specification. The site of the appeal hereditament was therefore purchased by Hillred Limited, a special purpose vehicle owned by the shareholders of the appellant company, who are the trustees of a family trust based in the USA.

  6. The site of the appeal hereditament was formerly part of a large industrial complex, which has now been redeveloped as the Vines BMW dealership fronting the A23 and an industrial estate known as Fairlawn Enterprise Park at the rear. The site area of the appeal hereditament is approximately 0.875ha. It is level, but slightly raised above the road. Fronting the road there is a retaining dwarf brick wall and in part a grass bank, with a grass landscaped strip surmounting both. There are two sloping access points to the main road and eight semi-mature oak trees and a horse chesnut spaced out along the landscaped strip. The trees are subject to tree preservation orders.

  7. The site contains three detached buildings. One (the Mini showroom) was first occupied in early 2004 and the others in mid 2005. Building 1 is on two storeys. It comprises the main showroom, administrative offices, stores and car-servicing workshop. The showroom fronts the main road and has a high-rise glazed front, extending part way down the flank walls. The remainder of the building is constructed partly of building block and clad in protected metal under an insulated profiled metal roof covering.

  8. The quality of the showroom is consistent with a top of the market brand like BMW, and in the main is an imposing full two-storey height. The floor is either carpeted or has a glazed tile finished. Apart from those which are glazed, all walls have a painted plaster finish, with spotlight illumination and a ducted air conditioning system. A customer seating/waiting area and ancillary offices are located on the first floor. They form a large balcony area over part of the showroom and are approached from the main sales/display floor by an open staircase. There is also a passenger lift.

  9. The ground floor to the rear of the showroom comprises ancillary office areas and a large parts store, together with male wcs and changing rooms for the workshop staff. Further to the rear is the main workshop. It is a full two-storey height, with access doors to the side and rear and natural light from rooflight panels. The floor is finished with vinyl tiles and the walls and roof are profiled metal. Illumination is by suspended arc type lamps and heating by overhead bar heaters. 15 double piston hydraulic hoists are built into the floor. Behind the customer area and ancillary offices on the first floor are further ancillary offices, a large staffroom/canteen and a mezzanine floor used for storage.

  10. Building 2 is located on the northerly side of the site. It is used as a car showroom for the display and sale of the Mini brand. The front is fully double glazed, as are the two flank sides for about half their length. The remainder of the structure comprises protected metal panelling under a sloping profiled metal roof. Internally the showroom has a tiled floor and glazed show windows, with the rest of the walls plastered and painted. The ceiling has part suspended type panels and part plaster finish, with spotlight illumination. Within the showroom to the rear are a small office, a disabled wc, kitchen and store. A ceiling ducted system provides heating and cooling.

  11. Building 3 comprises a large detached valet building, finished externally in profiled metal cladding. This is a good quality building divided internally into a front area for general valeting, a rear section with a drive through automatic car wash unit and a central section comprising stores, plant, mess room, wcs and a works office. Heating is by suspended rod bar or individual heaters to all parts except the drive through car wash areas.

  12. The external areas are mostly surfaced with asphalt and with surface water drainage. The central area between the two showrooms is used mainly for the display of cars for sale, is neatly laid out and has external lighting. The area to the front of building 2 is used for the display of the Mini brand, as is the area between this showroom and the main road. A steel railing fence effectively divides the major front customer section of the site from the valet building and the rear portion of the main workshop. The asphalted areas here are in the main marked out and used as workshop, valet and staff parking.

  13. The gross internal areas of the various parts of the buildings on the site are as follows:

    There are 27 prime open car sales display spaces, 55 secondary open display spaces and 54 ancillary open car spaces.

    Issues

  14. The principal issue in this appeal is the rental value per m2 which should be applied to the appeal hereditament in terms of main space (ITMS). Mr Bisset contended for a value...

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