Case details

Telereal Trillium (Respondent) v Hewitt (Valuation Officer) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0031

Case summary

  1. Whether regard should be given, when ascertaining the rateable value of a property under the statutory hypothesis in paragraph 2(1) of Sch. 6 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988, to general demand for comparable properties in the market.
  2. What the relevance is, if any, to the ascertainment of rateable value under the statutory hypothesis, of the absence of an actual prospective tenant who would pay a positive price in order to occupy the property at the valuation date.

The property which is the subject of this dispute is Mexford House, a substantial three-storey block of offices in the North Shore area of Blackpool. It is located about two miles from the centre of Blackpool, in a primarily residential area. Since it was built in the early 1970s it has been occupied as offices by various government departments. This was despite the fact that (since 1998) the Respondent had taken over commercial ownership of the relevant lease. By 13 March 2008, however, the various government departments had given notice of their intention to vacate the property and by 1 April 2010 there was no dispute that the property was empty.

Despite this, on 1 April 2010, the 2010 non-domestic rating list for the area came into force and this showed Mexford House as having a rateable value of £490,000. This had been ascertained using the statutory hypothesis in paragraph 2(1) of Sch. 6 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988, by reference to the ‘antecedent valuation date’ which was 1 April 2008. The Respondent disputed this valuation, arguing that the property should instead have a rateable value of £1 because there was no market demand for it. This argument was accepted by the Valuation Tribunal of England, but rejected by the Upper Tribunal. The Court of Appeal, however, disagreed with the Upper Tribunal, and the Appellant is therefore now seeking to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2018] EWCA Civ 26



Kevin Hewitt (Valuation Officer)


Telereal Trillium



Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

21 Feb 2019

Hearing finish date

21 Feb 2019

Watch hearing
21 Feb 2019 Morning session Afternoon session