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00-2-011 Fiat Auto (Ireland) Ltd


Appeal No. VA00/2/011












Fiat Auto (Ireland) Ltd                                                                 APPELLANT




Commissioner of Valuation                                                          RESPONDENT


RE:  Office, Workshop & Grounds at  Map Reference 2U, Townland: Ballymount Great, Clondalkin Ballymount, Clondalkin  Co. Dublin

    Quantum - adjacent comparison used - factual differences should be sorted



Barry Smyth - FSCS.FRICS                               Deputy Chairman


Tim Cotter - Valuer                                              Member


Michael Coghlan - Solicitor                                 Member             






By Notice of Appeal dated the 28th July 2000, the appellant appealed against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation in fixing a rateable valuation of £535 on the above described hereditament.


The Grounds of Appeal as set out in the said Notice of Appeal are that; "the valuation is excessive and inequitable and Qbad in law in accordance with the provisions of the Valuation Acts and on other grounds also".



The appeal proceeded by way of an oral hearing which took place on the 20th day of November 2000 in the offices of the Valuation Tribunal.  The respondent was represented by Mr. Joseph McBride B. Agr.Sc, a District Valuer in the Valuation Office with almost 20 years experience.  The appellant was represented by Mr. Thomas Davenport ARICS ASCS, a Valuer for Lisney Chartered Surveyors. The Valuers had exchanged their written submissions prior to the hearing which submissions they had also given to the Tribunal. 

Having taken the oath, the valuers each adopted their written submissions and in addition gave oral evidence. 


Material facts agreed or found by the Tribunal.



The property is situated on the South Side of the Naas Road at its intersection with Turnpike road, close to the M50 roundabout and approximately 6 miles from the city centre.


The property has access off the Naas Road from the Turnpike Road.


This area has a mixture of commercial properties such as offices, hotels, car showrooms, etc.


The Property.

The property comprises of a modern detached three-storey building uniquely shaped with six curved corners and two angled corners.  It has offices on all floors with a workshop and archive room at ground floor.


Valuation History.

In November 1998 the subject property was included in the quarterly revision of valuation for the first time at R.V. £535 which was appealed by notice dated 24th November 1998.


The Commissioner of Valuation on the recommendation of the appeal valuer made no reduction in the valuation.


An appeal against an RV. £535 was made by notice dated 28th July 2000.




Accommodation agreed by  both parties 767.1 sq. mts.


Ground, first and second floor offices767.1 sq. mts.  (8257 sq.ft.)


Ground floor – workshop 160.0 sq.mts / 1723 sq.ft.


Ground floor – archives room 34.4 sq.mts. (370 sq.ft)



The entire building is held on a long lease with a break clause after 10 and 16 years.  There is a 3 month penalty after 16 years.


The term is 25 years from December 1997 at a rent of £145,000 – per annum.


The Appellant’s Case.

Mr. Thomas Davenport in his precis of evidence stated that;


1.         The property is located within an area where the predominant use is industrial                         / warehousing.  The area has a number of mixed commercial uses such at showrooms for car sales and building products together with new hotel developments.  However the market for offices at this location would appear to be generally poor as evidenced by the lack of any major office development.


2.         Although the property fronts onto the Naas Road and Turnpike Road, access                                       to the property is available only from a slip road, accessed from Turnpike Road, This slip road also provides the main access to the Red Cow Interchange Industrial Estate and the itinerant halting site which is located almost opposite the entrance to the subject premises.


3.         The subject building is a combination of part industrial, part office use, with                                           the major part of the ground floor being used for workshop/storage/plant room facilities.  Internal finishes throughout this section of the ground floor are very basic.


The office accommodation which is primarily on the first and second floors does not have the benefit of raised access floors, air conditioning etc, which are normally found in most modern office buildings.


4.         In arriving at a fair net annual value for this premises regard must be had to                              the fact that the subject is essentially designed and used for part industrial/part office use located within a predominantly industrial area with a consequent level of rental reflected.



In arriving at a net annual value (and also rateable valuation) Mr. Davenport stated  he had to have regard to the following;


i)          Section 11 of the Valuation (Ireland) Act 1852 and the requirements to make                        an estimate of net annual value.


ii)         Section 5 of the Valuation Act 1986 which provides for the adjustment of such                              net annual so as to ensure that the valuation arrived at bears the same relationship to the valuations of other properties whose valuations have been made or revised within a recent period.


iii)        His valuation of this property is based on the rental levels and rateable                        valuation of comparable properties.


Mr. Davenport proposed a rateable valuation for the subject property as follows;


Offices (Ground, First & Second Floors)

8,257 sq.ft. @ £7 per sq.ft.  = £57,799 (767 sq.m @ £75 pm2)


Ground Floor Workshop / Archive Room

2,093 sq.ft. @ £3 per sq.ft   = £6,279  (194 sq.m. @ £32.20 pm2)




Total Net Annual Value       £64,000


Reducing factor to translate NAV into RV            0.63%


Estimate of Rateable Valuation       £64,000  x 0.63% = £400


Mr. Davenport provided 8 comparisons details of which are set out in full as an appendix to this judgement.


Oral Evidence.

In supplementary oral evidence Mr. Davenport stated that the North bound traffic and traffic coming off the M50 had to travel to the Long Mile Road junction, to gain access to the subject property.


He stated that this property was not a third generation building and had no sophisticated air conditioning.  He felt that City West was a superior office location with easier access to and from the Naas Road.


Mr. Davenport under cross-examination by Mr. McBride said the N.A.V. is the rent a hypothetical tenant might pay for a property.  Mr. Davenport agreed that there were sockets in the ground floor which would allow for the installation of a raised floor.

The Respondent’s Case

Mr. McBride stated that;


1.         The property is a unique building and comprises a very busy site and Head Quarters for Fiat. The front of the building has three signs advertising Fiat and Alfa Romeo.


2.         The building provides office accommodation and training facilities in the                                workshop.  The site provides good parking.  A high level of security exists.


3.         This property is located mainly in an industrial area but this landmark building                                has a very high profile. 


4.         The offices are finished to a very high standard.


5.         The agent contends that there exists a “Tone of the list” for offices at this                                   location.  No such tone exits for this unique building at this superior location.


6.         The best evidence of N.A.V is the actual rent achieved and the yield on the              sale of the investment.  The investment was sold around July 1999 for a sum of £3 million namely a net yield of 4.4%



The Respondent set out his Estimate of Rent/NAV  for the subject as follows               £84,920.00


* Actual Rent at 12/97  = £145,000   Less 40.4%      =          NAV               =                      £86,420

                            RV @ 0.63%         =                      £544.45

     RV assessed @ NAV @ £84,921  RV  @ 0.63%          =                           £535.00


* Indexed back to November 1988 using Jones Lang LaSalle Irish Property Index Office ERV 350

@ 11/88 and 587 @ 12/97 = a reduction of 40.4%)


The actual reduction in the rents amounts to 41.4%


NAV devalues @


Offices                        761.1m2                      (8257 sq.ft)     @        £96.88/m2   (£9/sq.ft) =    £74317

Workshop      160.0m2          (1723 sq.ft)     @        £53.82/m2   (£5/sq.ft)  =    £  8611

Archives Room            34.4m2                        (370 sq.ft)     @        £53.82/m2   (£5/sq.ft) =    £  1851

TOTAL NAV                                                                                                                 £84799

RV @ 0.63% =          £534    Say 535                      



Mr. Mc Bride provided five comparisons, the details of which are set out in full as an Appendix to this judgement.


In supplementary oral evidence Mr. McBride contended that this is one of the best sites on the Naas Road on the roundabout with frontage on to the roundabout.


He stated that the property was not spec built but purpose built for Fiat.


The building makes a statement.  He maintained the offices were up to the standard of any office.


Mr. McBride stated that, as stated in many tribunal judgments, the best evidence is the passing rent.


He listed the following Tribunal appeals:


VA97 /4 / 032                         -           Camden Crafts

VA97 / 6 / 070                        -           Donnachadh Ó’Mordha

VA98 / 3 / 087 - 106               -           Diamond Shopping Centre Appeals

VA98 / 1 / 009                        -           River Island Clothing Company Ltd.


He took the passing rent and used the Jones Lang LaSalle index which shows a reduction of 41.4%.


Thus, this gives an NAV and RV as shown on the valuation office figures.


Mr. McBride under cross-examination by Mr. Davenport agreed that the location of the subject property was secondary and he said it was valued on that basis.  He said it was not valued as a third generation office.  He said the finish of comparisons 3, 4, & 5 were superior.



Having carefully considered all the evidence the Tribunal makes the following findings.  The subject property is located in a secondary location and is not a third generation office development.


The tribunal recognises the access difficulty to the subject premises.


As in a number of recent cases before the Tribunal, the Tribunal once again asks that, where there is a difference of factual evidence between the appellant and respondents precis, that this should be sorted out before the hearing in order to avoid time wasting for the Tribunal.



The Tribunal is not aware of any indices that would be appropriate to this type of property.   As a general rule the Tribunal considers such indices to be of limited assistance in individual cases as they are based on information relating to a basket of properties in various locations in Dublin and elsewhere.  Nonetheless they do serve as an indicator of general trends and as such they do serve a purpose.


This property is primarily an office building with some ancillary industrial space.  The subject property is in a better location that the Clonmel Enterprise building.  The Tribunal feels that £8 per sq.ft. is the correct figure for the office content of the subject property.


Having carefully considered all the evidence and arguments adduced at this appeal the Tribunal determines the rateable valuation of the subject property, calculated as follows:


Offices (Ground, First and Second Floors)

8257 sq.ft        @        £8 per sq.ft      =          £66,056


Ground floor Workshop / Archive Room

2093 sq.ft        @        £4 per sq.ft      =          £  8,372


Total net annual value                         =          £74,428

Say                  =          £75,000 N.A.V.

    R.V. reducing factor @ 0.63%       =          £473 R.V.

                                                Say      =          £475 R.V.











Comparison No.      No.  1


Rated Occupier                  Thomas Kelly Ltd



Location                  Turnpike Road, Redcow.


Lease  25 X5 from

Area                          236.4m2 (2524 sq.ft) Sale/Rent                9/96 £28,250 Per


Net Annual Value  £18,254                                   Rateable Valuation        £115


Analysis                   Ground Floor Retail 236.4m2  (2542 Sq.Ft) @ £77.2/m2 (7.17/Sq.Ft)

Observations                      1.         RV Assessed 96/4  Appeal

2.         Property in muchp porer location than subject property.

3.         Property backs onto Halting Site

4.         Building would not compare construction wise. No Lift.




Comparison No.        No.  2

Rated Occupier                  Clonmel  Enterprises  Ltd



Location                  Turnpike Road, Redcow.



Area                          273.4m2 (2555 sq.ft) Sale/Rent               


Net Annual Value£15,330                                   Rateable Valuation        £955

Analysis                   273.4m2 (2555sq.ft) @ £55.15/m2 (£5.12/sq.ft)

Observations                      5.         RV Assessed 96/4 appeal

6.         Property in much poorer location than subject property

7.         Property backs on to Halting Site

.           Building would not compare construction wise. No. Lift



Comparison No.        No.  3


Rated Occupier                  Premier Direct Insurances  Ltd             Tax Designated Area



Location                  Tallaght near the Shopping Centre



Area                          773.6m2 (8327 sq.ft) Sale/Rent               


Net Annual Value£83,333                                   Rateable Valuation        £525

Analysis                   773.6m2 (8327sq.ft) @ £107.6/m2 (£10.00/sq.ft)

Observations                      1.         Property revised 94/4 appeal no change

2.         Good office near the shopping centre, Designated



Comparison No.        No.  4


Rated Occupier                  Rhone-Poulenc-Rorer (irl)  Ltd            



Location                  City west business park


                                                                                                            25 X 5 from 7/98 @ c

Area                          937.9m2 (10096 sq.ft)           Sale/Rent                £118,225 per annum

(Gross Ext)


Net Annual Value£64,714                                   Rateable Valuation        £414

Analysis                   397.9m2 (10096sq.ft) @ £70/m2 Gross External (£6.50/sq.ft)

Observations                      1.         RV assesssed 1998/4 revision

2.         RV assessed on a gross external basis

3.         Located in city west new corporate office park near Rathcoole



Comparison No.        No.  5


Rated Occupier                  Iomega Ireland                  



Location                  City west business park Unit 3008



Area                          2318.88m2                  Sale/Rent               

                                    (24960 sq.ft)


Net Annual Value£162,381                     Rateable Valuation        £1,023

Analysis                   2318.88m2 (24960sq.ft) @ £70/m2 Gross External (£6.50/sq.ft)

Observations                      1.         RV assesssed 1998/4 revision

2.         RV assessed on a gross external basis

3.         Located in city west new corporate office park near Rathcoole