Slough Heat And Power Ltd v Thompson (Valuation Officer), Court of Appeal - Lands Tribunal, October 31, 2008, [2008] EWLands RA_38_2007

Resolution Date:October 31, 2008
Issuing Organization:Lands Tribunal
Actores:Slough Heat And Power Ltd v Thompson (Valuation Officer)

RA/38/2007 LANDS TRIBUNAL ACT 1949 RATING hereditament oil pipeline from local supply point to combined heat and power station whether a separate hereditament from power station and electricity and steam networks held that it was not appeal allowed IN THE MATTER OF AN APPEAL AGAINST A DECISION OF THE BERKSHIRE VALUATION TRIBUNAL BETWEEN SLOUGH HEAT AND POWER LIMITED Appellant and ANDY THOMPSON Respondent (Valuation Officer) Re: Power Station and Electricity and Steam Undertaking, Slough Trading Estate Pipeline and Appurtenances, Rail sidings to Slough Power Station Slough Trading Estate Before: The President Sitting at Procession House, 110 New Bridge Street, London EC4V 6JL on 24 October 2008 Richard Glover instructed by Ruddle Mez Ltd by direct access for the appellant Timothy Morshead instructed by Solicitor to HM Revenue and Customs for the respondent The following cases are referred to in this decision: Gilbert (VO) v S Hickinbottom & Sons Ltd [1956] 2 QB 40 Coventry and Solihull Waste Disposal Co Ltd v Russell (VO) [1998] RA 427 Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council v Pollard (VO) [2007] RA 49 North Eastern Railway Co v Guardians of York Union [1900] 1 QB 733 Edwards (VO) v BP Refinery (Llandarcy) Ltd [1974] RA 1 The following further cases were referred to in argument: English Clays Lovering Pochin & Co Ltd v Davis (VO) (1966) RRC 307 Russell VO v Shell Mex & BP Ltd [1972] RA 65 Petrofina (Gt Britain) Ltd v Harrington (VO) [1973] RA 65 Vtesse Networks Ltd v Bradford (VO) [2006] RA 427 Burton Latimer UDC v Weetabix Ltd (1958) 3 RRC 270 DECISION

1. This is an appeal against a decision of the Berkshire Valuation Tribunal given on 4 April

2007. It concerns the appellant's combined heat and power station on the Slough Trading Estate and an oil supply pipeline running to the power station from an offloading terminal adjacent to the main railway line. In the 2000 rating list the power station and the network of steam pipes and electricity supply lines emanating from it were entered as "Power Station and Electricity and Steam Undertaking" at £563,255 rateable value; and the oil pipeline was entered as "Pipeline and Appurtenances" at £15,900 RV. The appellant contended that the pipeline was not a separate hereditament but was part of the power station hereditament; and that the entry relating to it should accordingly be deleted. The rateable value of the power station, based as it is on a statutory formula contained in the Electricity Supply Industry (Rateable Values) (England) Order 2000, would not be affected. The valuation tribunal rejected the ratepayer's contention and confirmed the two entries.

2. No evidence was called before me, but there was an agreed statement of facts, on the basis of which Mr Richard Glover for the appellant and Mr Timothy Morshead for the respondent valuation officer made their submissions. The following factual summary is derived from the agreed statement.

3. The Slough Trading Estate extends to 196 hectares and is situated to the north west of Slough town centre. It comprises mainly industrial and warehouse units but also some retail and office accommodation. It is owned by Slough Estates plc. The estate is provided with electricity and some of the units on the estate are provided with steam from the Slough Heat and Power Ltd power station, which is situated in Edinburgh Avenue, Slough. The power station site contains buildings used as fuel stores, a boiler house, turbine and generator hall and various workshops and stores, a staff canteen and an office block. In addition there are two oil tanks and two cooling towers. The power station is multi-fuel and can use as its source of power natural gas, heavy fuel oil, biomass and coal. One of the fuels which was burned at the power station up to 1 January 2003 was heavy fuel oil. The oil was normally delivered in tankers to the end of the pipeline at the railway sidings at Slough. The railway sidings are situated to the east of Farnham Road (A355). The fuel oil was pumped from the tankers through the oil pipeline to the power station. The pipeline is approximately 1,327 metres long. It is shown on the plans as running for the whole of its length beside steam mains.

4. The fuel oil was burned to heat water in the boilers and produce steam. The steam drove the turbines, and electricity was produced in the generators. The electricity was supplied to the local distribution network, which served the Slough Trading Estate and some residential properties in Slough. When the amount of electricity generated was in excess of the requirements of the local network it was put into the National Grid network. After the steam had driven the turbines, it was, when required, put into the local steam network for use in the premises to which the steam network was connected. The steam undertaking included steam pipes which were available to heat up the oil in the tankers at the railway sidings at Slough. The oil was heated so that it could be effectively pumped from the tankers to the power station. The steam network was also connected to the oil pipeline and for part of the oil pipeline's length steam trace heating pipes touched the oil pipeline and heated the oil pipeline enabling the heavy fuel oil to be transported more efficiently from the railway sidings to the power station.

5. In 1993, to enable the heavy fuel oil to be...

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