Appeal No. VA08/3/036
AN BINSE LUACHÁLA
Denis Doyle APPELLANT
RE: Property No. 2191495, Veterinary Clinic at Lot No. 6E, 1 Bollarney House,
B E F O R E
JUDGMENT OF THE VALUATION TRIBUNAL
By Notice of Appeal received on the 8th day of August 2008, the appellant appealed against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation in fixing a valuation of €85 on the above described relevant property.
The grounds of appeal as set out in the Notice of Appeal are:
The appeal proceeded by way of an oral hearing which took place in the offices of the Tribunal, Ormond House, Ormond Quay Upper, Dublin 7, on Friday the 21st day of November, 2008. The appellant was represented by Mr. Eamonn Halpin, BSc, ASCS, MRICS, MIAVI. The respondent was represented by Ms. Orla Lambe, BSc, a Valuer in the Valuation Office. Both parties adopted their written submissions, which had previously been exchanged between them and submitted to the Tribunal, as being their evidence-in-chief given under oath.
The Appellant’s Case
In his evidence, Mr. Halpin stated that there was a lot of agreement as to the location of the premises and the general description of the premises, but not how to value it. He was of the view that the comparison properties were too far from the subject property to be of significance in assessing appropriately the valuation of the subject property. Mr. Halpin considered the neighbouring properties of the subject property to be more appropriate comparisons. These neighbouring properties included car showrooms and a leisure complex. He accepted they were different to the subject property but that the only difference was in terms of fit-out. He stated that the construction of all the buildings was the same and was by way of a steel portal frame with cladding and it is only their use that differed. He did not feel that the comparisons put forward by the Commissioner were of any help in reaching an appropriate valuation of the subject property.
He considered this to be an unusual case in that there is only one other veterinarian practice in County Wicklow and that is in Greystones and he felt that this is of no assistance as it is based in an old period house. He stated that the subject property is an unusual building as the top floor is unfinished. He described the reception area as being done to a good standard and that you can buy some animal feed there but he was of the view that you could not describe it as a shop. The rest of the building he described as done to a good standard but within the limitations of the building. He measured the height from ground to ceiling as being only 2.4 metres, which is a bare minimum. He viewed the finishes to the walls and ceiling as not being exceptional, and that they are done in a way so that the premises can be kept clean and are only slightly better than a workshop finish. He valued the front reception area/display area of 50 sq. metres @ €50 per sq. metre which gave a NAV of €2,500. This, he stated, was the valuation on the surrounding car showrooms which he considered to be done to a higher finish. He valued the balance of the building at 198.8 sq. metres @ €30.75 per sq. metre which gave a NAV of €6,113.10 giving a total NAV of €8,613.10 with a rateable valuation @ 0.5% equalling €43.
Mr. Halpin then introduced his comparisons (details at Appendix 1 hereto) as follows:
Sinnott Autos is a car dealership two doors away from the subject property. The front showroom, which is 99.69 sq. metres in size, is valued at €50 per sq. metre with the balance of the showroom, which is 300 sq. metres in size, valued at €35 per sq. metre. The total area of the showroom is 399.69 sq. metres, with various other valuations on different parts of the property. The rateable valuation of the total property is €160.
Peppard Motors is a car dealership in the same development as the subject property. The front showroom is valued at €50 per sq. metre with the balance of the showroom, including offices, valued at €35 per sq. metre, with ancillary at €27 per sq. metre and the workshop at €25 per sq. metre.
Mr. Halpin stated that the floor to ceiling of the workshop in the appellant’s second comparison was higher than that of the subject property. He considered the finish of the subject property to be better than the workshop but not up to office standard.
Mr. Halpin referred to the Tribunal’s decision in VA04/1/024 - Gerry Cobbe & Mary McGibney, and used it to support his contention that there is no requirement under the Valuation Act, 2001 for the Tribunal to confine itself to buildings of a similar function. On that basis he submitted that the best comparisons available were the car showrooms neighbouring the subject property which were well fitted out and that the subject property should not be valued at a higher level than these car showrooms.
Cross examination of Mr. Halpin
Mr. Halpin accepted that the reception area was done up to an office standard but said that this was to be expected. However, he felt that even though the floors, walls and ceilings in the surgery area were done to a high finish for its use, they were not done to office standard. When put to him, Mr. Halpin accepted that the development was a mixed use area but he did not accept that Tesco was part of the development area. He also accepted that the offices in the adjoining car showrooms were of ancillary use but stated that they were done to an exceptionally high standard and were of vital use.
Ms. Lambe referred to Appendix 4 of her précis and described the property as having an excellent profile. She agreed with Mr. Halpin that the building had a steel portal frame but felt that it could not be described as an industrial building as it was finished to a much higher standard. She stated that the car showrooms are valued by reference to other car showrooms and that the subject property as a veterinary surgery was a mix of retail, surgery and office and that the preferable comparison was office type buildings.
Ms. Lambe valued the property as follows:
Ground floor surgery of 248.8 sq. metres @ €68.34 per sq. metre
Ms. Lambe then introduced her comparisons [see Appendix 2 hereto] as follows:
Comparison No. 1, Bank of Ireland, RV €200, agreed on appeal; this is located at the Glencormack Business Park, Kilmancanogue, Co. Wicklow. It is a two storey, purpose built office block in a business park and is located on the N11 with profile onto the N11. It is finished to a good standard and has parking available.
Comparison No. 2, XNET Information Systems, RV of €215; this is also located at the Glencormack Business Park. It is a two storey, purpose built office block in a business park and is located on the N11 with profile onto the N11. It is finished to a good standard and has parking available.
Comparison No. 4, Zest Training Ltd, RV €75; this is also located in the Woodlands Office Park at the Bray end of the Southern Cross Route providing direct access to the N11. It is part of a two storey, purpose built office. It is finished to a good standard and has parking available.
Comparison No. 5, Noel P. Hegarty & Sons Ltd, RV €65 in 2007; this is located on the outskirts of Wicklow Town. The property does not have profile onto the main road compared to that of the subject property. The property is built to a good standard. It is a purpose built development but would not have the same footfall as the subject property.
Cross Examination of Ms. Lambe
And the Tribunal so determines.