William Eichler 17 January 2020

Court finds in favour of museum in ‘landmark’ business rates case

Court finds in favour of museum in ‘landmark’ business rates case image

A long-running battle over how museums are valued for business rates has come to an end with a court ruling that they should be valued based on net income.

In the case of Stephen G Hughes v Exeter City Council the Upper Tribunal decided that the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter should not have been valued based on the cost of rebuilding, which is the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) preferred method.

The court ruled instead that the museum buildings should be valued based on Receipts and Expenditure, which means the rateable value will be reduced to £1, effective from 1 April 2015.

‘This is the third appeal of this kind that we have taken to the Upper Tribunal and, in all cases, the court has found in our favour,’ said Colin Hunter, director of business rates at Lambert Smith Hampton who advised Exeter City Council on the appeal.

‘However, what is interesting about this case compared with the others is that it makes it clear that the choice of valuation method isn’t a matter of legal principle but rather should be based upon fact and evidence.

‘The result is therefore likely to have a significant impact on the way English and Welsh museums are valued in the future, particularly older museums situated within historic buildings which would have substantial rebuild costs.’

‘Whether the VOA decides to appeal or not remains to be seen. However, either way, we’re keen to bring the VOA together with representatives from the various museum bodies across England and Wales in order to agree a way forward,’ Mr Hunter added.

‘We will also have discussions with the Valuation Tribunal for England to establish how best to clear the appeals against the 2010 rating list that are still outstanding, paving the way for the 2017 Rating List to be appealed or corrected.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities - West

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £41000.0 per month
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Education Legal Services Officer

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Please note that there are 2 positions available, 1 permanent position and 1 fixed term position for 12 months. Essex County Council has embarked upon England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Project Support Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
This role supports the project delivery and business operations of the Asset Strategy and Short Breaks Teams, ensuring that regular business runs... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Data Administrator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
You must have excellent ICT skills to include Excel and Word, plus experience of using email. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Team Manager - Corporate Support

Epping Forest District Council
£33,500 - £36,401 (doe) plus excellent benefits
To be successful you will have previous experience in a Team Management role in service delivery with a focus on continuous improvement. Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue