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Alder King wins landmark rating case on greenfield telecommunications sites

Rating experts at Alder King, acting on behalf of digital communications company EE Ltd, have won a landmark decision at the Valuation Tribunal on the impact of the over-supply of greenfield telecommunication mast sites in respect of the 2010 Rating List.  The decision will affect over 12,000 sites across England and Wales and lead to potential operator savings of over £25 million.

The Vice President of the Valuation Tribunal had to decide on the specific question of whether the increase in the number of vacant greenfield mast sites between the valuation date of April 2008 and the commencement date of the Rating List in April 2010 was value significant.

Alder King contended that the over-supply had impacted on the hypothetical tenant’s site rental bid and requested that the site rent be reduced by 20%.  The Valuation Tribunal decided that the site rent should be reduced by 13%.  The Valuation Office Agency has confirmed that it will not appeal the decision.

Simon Price, rating partner at Alder King who appeared before the Tribunal on behalf of EE Ltd, commented:

“This is a very welcome decision, which will lead to significant financial benefits to all of the operators across the mobile telecoms industry.  We were keen to pursue this case as the evidence in our opinion warranted the appeals.

“Due to the unique nature of the argument we were pursuing and the parties’ relative positions, the matter was always going to proceed to a Tribunal Hearing in order to reach a decision.  We are glad that the Valuation Tribunal recognised the validity of our expert opinion and evidence.”

Alder King’s specialist Business Rates team advises on, and manages, all aspects of business rates throughout the UK.  Services include undertaking appeals and negotiations with national bodies, presenting cases at Valuation and Lands Tribunals, calculating rates liability including phasing, advising on rating for empty buildings and acting as expert witnesses.  Further information is available from

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