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Epic Battle over New Scotland Yard Rates Bills

Thirteen years of heated debate over the rateable value of New Scotland Yard, the iconic headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, has resulted in a tribunal ruling which is unlikely to satisfy the force and will only result in a modest reduction in its bills.

The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis had challenged the £6,754,000 value put upon the 1960s office block in the 2000 rating list. The dispute had resulted in a tangled procedural history during which the Commissioner had argued without success that the building’s rateable value should be assessed at just £1.

In the latest round of the debate, the Commissioner’s lawyers argued, amongst other things, that the wrong approach had been taken to valuing the building’s corridors, that office space had been over-valued and that not enough allowance had been made for the building’s creaking air conditioning system and the uncovered nature of its car parking spaces.

After considering expert evidence and the rates paid on a number of buildings of comparable vintage and specification, the Upper Tribunal largely accepted arguments put forward by a valuation officer. The Commissioner’s appeal was allowed only to the extent that the rateable value of New Scotland Yard was reduced to £6,450,000 with effect from 1 April 2004.