Three barristers from FTB have appeared in the Supreme Court in the case of Hewitt (VO) v Telereal Trillium, a case dealing with the correct approach to the valuation of a vacant public sector office building in Blackpool known as Mexford House. Hugh Flanagan, led by Hui Ling McCarthy QC, appeared for the Appellant valuation officer; Richard Glover QC and Cain Ormondroyd appeared for the Respondent ratepayer, seeking to uphold the nominal valuation ordered by the Court of Appeal.
The dispute was set against the background of the agreement by the parties of a ‘Joint Position Paper’, in which it was agreed that there was nobody in the real world who would be prepared to pay or bid a positive price for Mexford House at 1 April 2008 (the relevant valuation date for rating purposes). The arguments in the case covered the relevance of concepts such as ‘general demand’ (i.e. demand for other properties with similar characteristics), obsolescence and end of economic life when valuing property in those factual circumstances.
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected shortly.