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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> Branwell v Valuation Office Agency  EWHC 824 (Admin) (16 April 2015)
Cite as:  EWHC 824 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|- and -
|VALUATION OFFICE AGENCY
Mr John Jolliffe (instructed by HMRC) for the Respondent
Hearing dates: 11 March 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing DBE :
(1) acted unfairly;
(2) wrongly concluded that the flat was capable of being a "hereditament" and
(3) acted incompatibly with her Convention Rights.
The Appellant's factual case
"(11) Not to alter
Not at any time ....to make structural alterations in or additions to the plan elevation or appearance of Demised Premises or in any of the party walls or the principle [sic] or bearing walls or timbers or iron steel or other supports thereof nor to alter connect to extend or otherwise interfere with any heating or other plumbing installation nor shall the Lessee do or fail to do any act deed or thing which would adversely affect the support, repair, maintenance, cleanliness or enjoyment of the flats in the building."
The legal framework
(1) It would have been a hereditament for the purposes of the definition of hereditament in section 115(1) of the General Rate Act 1967 ("the GRA") had the GRA remained in force. That definition ("save as the context otherwise requires") is as follows " 'hereditament' means property which is or may become liable to a rate, being a unit of such property which is, or would fall to be shown as a separate item in the valuation list".
(2) It is not shown or required to be shown in a non-domestic rating list.
(3) It is not exempt from local non-domestic rating for the purposes of Part III of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 ("the LGFA 88").
The decision of the Panel
The application for a review
(1) A document relating to the proceedings was not sent to, or received by, a party.
(2) A party or its representative was not present at a hearing and party showed reasonable cause for his/her absence.
(3) There had been some other procedural irregularity.
The Appellant's ground of appeal
(1) The hearing was unfair.
(2) The Panel reached the wrong conclusion.
(3) If the Panel was right, that outcome was wrong, irrational, and a breach of her human rights.
Was the hearing unfair?
Did the Panel reach the wrong conclusion?
Is that outcome wrong, irrational or a breach of the Appellant's human rights?