Appeal No. VA92/4/024
AN BINSE LUACHÁLA
William Roche APPELLANT
RE: Shop, store and Yard at Lot No. 24 Main Street,
B E F O R E
JUDGMENT OF THE VALUATION TRIBUNAL
By notice of appeal dated the 6th day of July, 1992, Mr. Joseph Lavan
of E.A. Ryan & Company, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford appealed on behalf
of the appellant against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation
in fixing a rateable valuation of £120 on the above described hereditament.
In 1988 the property at (1) above was listed by Waterford County Council to "check for extensions or alterations to shop premises". As a result of this the valuation was increased to £65 but following First Appeal was reduced to £55.
In 1990 both the properties (1 and 2) were listed for the lots to be amalgamated and check for alterations. The R.V. was increased to £75 and the appellant appealed against this valuation to the Commissioner of Valuation. The Commissioner at First Appeal increased the valuation to £120. It is against this determination of the Commissioner of Valuation that this appeal lies to the Tribunal.
No. 308 Lismore - No. 5, 7 & 8.
A written submission was received on the 26th November, 1992 from Mr. Denis Maher, a Valuer with over 17 years experience in the Valuation Office on behalf of the respondent. In the written submission Mr. Maher set out details of the property and the valuation history. Commenting on the appellants grounds of appeal he stated, that at the time of inspection and reporting the rateable valuation was considered to be in line with other recently revised and appealed properties in the area, and that the valuation was approximately .63% of the Net Annual Value. On further investigation of recently revised properties in the County Waterford area and relative to rental levels pertaining to the area for such properties, it was the opinion of the Commissioner that the relevant fraction should be set at .5%. With this in mind and aware of the N.A.V. arrived at for this property Mr. Maher stated that a more equitable valuation is now determined at £95. He further stated that the R.V. of £50 established at 1988 First Appeal applied to only part of the property amounting to about 6,900 sq.ft.. A further R.V. of £4 applied to part of the property not revised at that stage as the lot was not listed for revision. The floor area here amounted to about 1,250 sq.ft.. The property was purely a hardware shop with poor stores attached at that time. The current valuation refers to these two lots which have been renovated, extended and converted into a supermarket with coffee shop and showrooms overhead together with a new hardware shop/store and further stores at rear. The floor area now amounts to about 13,500 square feet of which over 3,500 square feet are new.
Mr. Maher stated that there were no real comparable properties in the Town of Lismore. However, it was not envisaged that the valuation was out of line with other properties of a similar nature in rural towns.
Mr. Maher set out details of his calculation of the appropriate rateable valuation on the property as follows:-
In arriving at the rateable valuation regard was had to the relationship of R.V.'s to rental levels for recently revised comparative properties.
Regard was also had to the overall size of the property, the size of
the town itself and to the location of the property on a narrow part of
Mr. Maher set out details of four comparisons as follows:-
2) Old hardware shop in Tallow, 4 to 5 miles from Lismore with very poor quality stores at rear - shop 1388ft², stores 5381ft² - R.V. £49.
3) Shop and store for Waterford Co-op. on the outskirts of Tallow, shop 1278ft², stores 2702ft², yard 1371ft² - R.V. £60.
4) Old sawmill on edge of Tallow, approximately 20,000ft² - R.V. £60.
Summarising Mr. Maher stated that the subject premises is one of the biggest properties in Lismore and consequently would have a limited letting value. Nevertheless turnover figures are reasonable enough to support a fair rental level. The N.A.V. adopted of £19,500 devalues at approximately £1.43 per square foot excluding yards. Mr. Maher stated that this was very low for such a property being less than levels being adopted for average quality industrial/light engineering works in rural areas. It was considered that this valuation amply compensated the occupier for any draw backs suffered on account of being located in Lismore. He stated that supermarket rental levels in Dungarvan are fixed at from £5 -£7 on appeal with other lesser towns taken at £3.50 - £4.00 on appeal.
Mr. Lavan gave evidence that the town of Lismore was a small, rural community, with practically no industry and dependent mainly on agriculture and, to a lesser extent, tourism. He said that the subject was located on a narrower end of the Main Street where there was no shopping trade and that in an effort to attract customers to his business, the appellant had built a carpark to the rear of the premises.
Mr. O'Brien, stated, in evidence that letting values in Lismore were very low and that there were several premises for sale on the Main Street. In his opinion, the weekly letting value of the subject would be in the region of £175 - £200 per week.
Mr. Roche said that he had purchased the premises in almost derelict condition in 1979 for £16,000. Since then he had made various improvements costing in all approximately £45,000.
Mr. Maher referred to his written submission and explained that the 1988 1st Appeal figure of £55 referred only to part of the property. He described the property as encompassing three businesses in all, namely; supermarket on the ground floor of the old building, coffee shop and carpet showroom on the first floor of the old building and hardware shop/store at the rear of the ground floor. Unlike the Revising Valuer, Mr. Maher did not take into account the valuation of the carpark.
Mr. Maher stated that he and the Revising Valuer in 1990 agreed that the N.A.V. of the subject was £19,500. The Revising Valuer, however, had deducted a sum £7,500 by reason of the drawbacks, location and other apparent disadvantages of the property. Mr. Maher felt that the assessment of N.A.V. had already made sufficient allowances for said drawbacks.
Mr. Lavan submitted that of the comparisons adduced by the respondent Comparison 2 was built by Waterford Foods to a very high standard in the town of Tallow which has factories and much higher employment than Lismore.
He stressed the unusually low letting values of properties in Lismore and the comparatively limited comparative rental evidence overall.
Mr. Lavan submitted that to assess N.A.V. on a square foot basis in a small country town was unrealistic. Properties were let 'in toto', in effect, for whatever rent a landlord/lady could obtain.
Mr. Lavan finally stressed that Mr. Maher's estimate of N.A.V. was very much at variance with that of an equally qualified colleague, only a short time ago.
Lismore is a small rural town with a largely agricultural hinterland,
virtually no industry and a limited but growing tourism industry. The
subject property is located on the narrow end of the Main Street, at what
has been described as a bottle-neck. The site is of somewhat awkward shape,
with a very narrow street frontage and its limited potential appear to
have been maximised by the appellant.