CIP Lounges at Heathrow Airport, Re, Court of Appeal, March 16, 2009, [2009] EWLands RA_59_2007

Resolution Date:March 16, 2009
Actores:CIP Lounges at Heathrow Airport, Re
 
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RA/59/2007 LANDS TRIBUNAL ACT 1949 RATING valuation value of lounges at Heathrow airport following events of 11 September 2001 in New York claimed effects on passenger numbers and aircraft movements whether matters physically manifest in locality VT holding that they were though masked by other factors and reducing RVs held VT wrong to conclude masked effects were manifest Local Government Finance Act 1988 Sched 6 para 2(7)(d) IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL AGAINST THE DECISION OF THE LONDON (NORTH WEST) VALUATION TRIBUNAL B Y KAREN KENDRICK Appellant (Valuation Officer) Re: CIP Lounges at (1) Room 2026A, Building 134, and (2) Rooms 2711-2714, Building 136, Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 1JH Before: The President Sitting at Procession House, 110 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6JL on 6 March 2009 Tim Buley instructed by Solicitor to HM Revenue and Customs for the appellant The following case is referred to in this decision: Chilton-Merryweather v Hunt [2008] RA 357 DECISION

1. This is an appeal by the valuation officer against a decision of the London (North West Valuation Tribunal allowing appeals by the ratepayer in respect of two hereditaments, each of which is a Commercially Important Passenger lounge at Heathrow Airport. The VT reduced the assessments by 10% to reflect the effects on the values of the hereditaments of the events of 11 September 2001 in New York. The VO says that it was wrong to do so. The ratepayer does not respond to the appeals.

2. The ratepayer, Servisair (UK) Ltd, is a company that operates aviation ground services at a number of airports. It is a market leader in the provision of common-use airport lounges throughout the UK and continental Europe. The hereditaments that it occupies at Heathrow are (a) Room 2026A, Second Floor, Building 134 (the Terminal 1 hereditament) and (b) Rooms 2711-2714, Second Floor, Building 136 (the Terminal 2 hereditament), each of which is provided for the use of passengers who are considered to be commercially important. The Terminal 1 hereditament was originally entered in the 2000 Rating List for Hillingdon at a rateable value of £182,000, and this was later altered to £161,000 RV with an effective date of 1 October 2000. The Terminal 2 hereditament was originally entered in the list at £198,000, and this was later altered to £175,000 with an effective date of 1 April 2001.

3. On 26 November 2001 the ratepayer's agent, Mr Christopher Marriott, made proposals to reduce the rateable values of each of the hereditaments. In one case he gave as his reasons for believing the list to be inaccurate: "The events on September 11th 2001 at the WTC in New York are a material change of circumstances, the effect of which is to cause a significant reduction in the rental value of this hereditament." In the other case it was put slightly differently: "The events on September 11th 2001 at the WTC in New York are material change of circumstances which have significantly reduced the rateable value."

4. The statutory provisions that are called into consideration by these proposals are these. The principal provisions are those contained in paragraph 2(3)-(7) of Schedule 6 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (as amended), which provide as follows: "2.-(3) Where the rateable value is determined for the purposes of compiling a list the day by reference to which the determination is to be made is (a) the day on which the list must be compiled, or (b) such day preceding that day as may be specified by the Secretary of State by order in relation to the list. (4) Where the rateable value is determined with a view to making an alteration to a list which has been compiled (whether or not it is still in force) the day by reference to which the determination is to be made is (a) the day on which the list came into force, or (b) if a day was specified under sub-paragraph (3)(b) above in relation to the list, the day so specified. (5) Where the rateable value is determined for the purposes of compiling a list by reference to a day specified under sub-paragraph (3)(b) above, the matters mentioned in sub-paragraph (7) below shall be taken to be as they are assumed to be on the day on which the list must be compiled. (6) Where the rateable value is determined with a view to making an alteration to a list which has been compiled (whether or not it is still in force) the matters mentioned in sub-paragraph (7) below shall be taken to be as they are assumed to be on the material day. (6A) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (6) above the material day shall be such day as is determined in accordance with rules prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State. (7) The matters are - (a) matters affecting the physical state or physical enjoyment of the hereditament, (b) the mode or category of occupation of the hereditament, (c) the quantity of minerals or other substances in or extracted from the hereditament, (cc) the quantity of refuse or waste material which is brought onto and permanently deposited on the hereditament, (d) matters affecting the physical state of the locality in which the hereditament is situated or which, though not affecting the physical state of the locality, are nonetheless physically manifest there, and (e) the use or occupation of other...

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