Appeal No. VA05/3/062
AN BINSE LUACHÁLA
Aldi Stores (Ireland) Ltd. APPELLANT
RE: Supermarket at Lot No. 3B.3E/5, Belgard Road, Cookstown,
Tallaght Springfield, Tallaght West, County Dublin.
B E F O R E
JUDGMENT OF THE VALUATION TRIBUNAL
By Notice of Appeal dated the 29th day of July, 2005, the appellant appealed against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation in fixing a rateable valuation of €750.00 on the above described relevant property.
The Grounds of Appeal as set out in the Notice of Appeal are:
This appeal proceeded by way of an oral hearing held in the Offices of the Tribunal, Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7 on the 26th October, 2005. The appellant was represented by Mr. Desmond M. Killen, FRICS, FSCS, IRRV, a director of GVA Donal O Buachalla and Mr. Francis Twomey, Valuer Grade 1 in the Valuation Office, appeared on behalf of the respondent, the Commissioner of Valuation.
The agreed areas are as follows:
The Appellant's Case
He described the building as steel framed, with panelled concrete walls and insulated metal deck mono pitched roof. Mr. Killen stated that all Aldi supermarkets were constructed similarly and from identical plans. He referred to sections 48 and 49 of the Valuation Act, 2001 and said that it was common cause that comparable properties in the same rating authority area should be considered in order to arrive at the correct valuation of the subject property.
Mr. Killen then reviewed the comparison properties outlined in his précis of evidence (see Appendix 1 to this judgment) as follows:
1. Eurospar, Ballyowen Shopping Centre, Lucan RV €850.00 - This, he said, was located in a highly developed area and had already been considered by the Valuation Tribunal as it was a comparison in Appeal ref. VA05/2/022 - Lidl Ireland GmbH.
2. Aldi, Lucan RV €556.00 - Mr. Killen stated that this property
was located in Fonthill Retail Park close to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre
and he supplied the Tribunal with a map of the area. This retail park
included retailers such as Smiths, Tubs and Tiles, Arramount Furniture,
Power City, Elverys and others. He had valued the subject on an identical
basis to this property which was similar in size and design to the subject
and, if anything, in a better location than the subject, with shops all
Mr. Killen said there were other larger supermarkets in the South Dublin rating authority area i.e. Superquinn and Tesco in Lucan and Dunnes Stores in Kilnamanagh and in the Mill Centre, Clondalkin but they were not comparable as they were larger in area and superior to the subject.
His opinion was that the correct valuation, having regard to relevant
comparisons and in accordance with Sections 48 & 49 of the Valuation
Act, 2001, should be calculated as follows:
Queried further on the proximity of the subject to the Luas terminal, Mr. Killen acknowledged that the subject property was beside a Luas stop. When asked further by Mr. Twomey about the relative distances between (i) the subject and The Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght and (ii) Aldi of Lucan and the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Mr. Killen stated that the vast majority of his client's customers travelled not by Luas but by car to the subject property and he further noted that the extensive car parking facilities were provided at the subject property with that in mind. Mr. Killen also stated that access to the property was difficult given its location off the Belgard Road, but acknowledged that the Luas service to the area was quite good. He confirmed that the car park serving the subject was for the exclusive use of his client's customers, as was also the case in respect of the parking facilities adjoining Aldi's store in Lucan.
Mr. Twomey then questioned Mr. Killen on the distances between the subject and his comparison stating that Belgard Road and Lucan were six miles apart. Mr. Killen replied that, following the principle of the tone of the list and having regard to market conditions, he considered Belgard and Lucan to be segments of the market within the same rating authority area. He had looked at Tallaght but had not found anything directly comparable. His comparisons complied with the Valuation Act, 2001 being in the same rating area as the subject.
The Respondent's Case
1. DID Electrical, Block 2, Unit 1, Tallaght Retail Centre RV €799.93.
Mr. Twomey said the primary difference between the properties was that
the subject sold food while DID sold electrical goods.
Asked by the Tribunal how he was guided by the decision to select comparison properties only from within the immediate locality, Mr. Twomey replied that market values were determined not for, but by, rents paid in that specific area. There were, he said, different segments of the market even within the same rating authority area and he cited Grafton Street and Capel Street as an extreme example of such. In further reply to the Tribunal, Mr. Twomey said that if he went into a new area with an expanding population and there were no other similar properties there on which to base a reasonable valuation, it would then be appropriate to go further afield to identify suitable comparisons.
Mr. Twomey contended for the following RV
Cross Examination by Mr. Killen
Mr. Twomey further agreed that his comparisons No. 1 and No. 2 were on the Belgard Road, that they had been built as warehouses and that the subject was a purpose-built supermarket. With regard to his comparison No. 3, Dunnes Stores, Mr. Twomey would not accept Mr. Killen's contention that it was not a suitable comparison property. He said that it, like the subject, was a supermarket and both served the same market. He agreed that Dunnes Stores in Tallaght was a better building and in a better location than the subject.
Mr. Killen put it to Mr. Twomey that the Valuation Act, 2001 requires that comparisons should be selected from the same rating authority area but does not require that they be in the same immediate locality. Mr. Twomey replied that the dispute was how far it was acceptable to go to find appropriate comparative evidence.
Findings & Determination
1. The respondent's net issue was whether to take comparisons from the
immediate locality or from the broader rating authority area.
3. The appellant argued that similarly circumstanced comparisons within the same rating authority area suffice, comply with the relevant legislation and accordingly should be relied upon.
4. The respondent adopted retailing as a generic activity regardless of the product (food, electric goods, carpets etc.) being retailed and accordingly the Commissioner of Valuation believes that all similar retail outlets in the immediate vicinity may therefore be considered as suitable comparators.
5. The respondent confirmed in cross examination that his comparisons No. 1 and No. 2 fronted onto the Belgard Road; that the subject was accessed from the Old Belgard Road and that the subject was purpose-built as a supermarket and not as a warehouse.
6. The respondent confirmed that all of his comparisons were superior to the subject and that he had reflected same by discounting the rate per square metre on the subject.
7. The Tribunal notes the parties' agreement that the car park with 101 spaces is exclusive to the subject property.
8. Section 49(1) of the Valuation Act, 2001 provides:
9. The Tribunal considers the appellant's comparison No. 3, Lidl, Lucan to be similarly circumstanced in terms of location, access, local population density, catchment area, and competing market forces as the subject.
Having regard to the foregoing and mindful of the decision made by the Tribunal in VA05/2/022 - Lidl Ireland GmbH, delivered prior to the hearing of the subject appeal, the Tribunal determines the net annual value and rateable valuation of the subject property as follows:
Supermarket 867.0 sq. metres @ €95.21 per sq. metre = €82,547.07
And the Tribunal so determines.