On appeal from: 2016 EWCA Civ 1150

This appeal considered the proper construction of the exception from non-domestic rating valuations of plant and machinery used or intended to be used in connection with services as part of ‘trade processes’ in the Valuation for Rating (Plant and Machinery) (England) Regulations 2000.

The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal. The Court considered that the prescribed assumptions under para 2 of the 2000 Regulations include the assumption that any plant or machinery, if it belongs to any class listed in the Schedule to the 2000 Regulations, is assumed to be part of the hereditament in or on which it is situated. It held that it was common ground that Table 2 in the Schedule covers the air handling system (AHS), and that this is used in connection with services to the hereditament, and therefore the only issue arising was whether the AHS is excluded from Class 2 of the Schedule.  The Supreme Court considered that, as the services of freezing and refrigeration provided by the relevant plant have been held to be used “mainly or exclusively” as part of the Appellant’s trade process, they should be left out of account for rating purposes. The Court concluded that the AHS is excluded from Class 2 and as such it should be ignored in calculating the rateable value of the Property. Therefore the Appellant succeeded and so the rateable value of the Property should be reduced on that basis.

For judgment, please download: [2018] UKSC 15
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (25 Jan 2018 morning session) (25 Jan 2018 afternoon session)