QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF RAYMOND FREDERICK WILLIAMS (LISTING OFFICER)||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND (FIRST DEFENDANT)|
|MS NORA GUISE (SECOND DEFENDANT)|
|PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF|
|MS W A LAWRENCE (Dec'd)(THIRD DEFENDANT)|
|THE OCCUPIER, FLAT 12 (FOURTH DEFENDANT)|
|MS M TAYLOR (FIFTH DEFENDANT)|
|MR and MRS J TUCKWELL (SIXTH DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR C BOYLE (instructed by LAWRENCE GRAHAM) appeared on behalf of the FIRST DEFENDANT
THE SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH AND SIXTH DEFENDANTS DID NOT APPEAR AND WERE NOT REPRESENTED
Crown Copyright ©
Monday, 19th May 2003
"The accommodation comprises:
Main entrance with Reception Desk
4 x administration offices
Printing room and store
Store to above
WC's; male, female and disabled.
Dining Room (with talking menu outside), with servery to kitchen, and folding screen to:
Kitchen with store and office.
Kitchen staff changing room & WC
TV lounge/activities room
Stores to above
Male and female staff changing rooms
Staff training room, store and office
Hydrotherapy pump room
Library (with talking diary for the week)
Activities/hobby or craft room
Store to above
3 x staircases
2 x talking lifts
Lift plant room
13 x one-person rooms or 'flatlets' [Rooms 2-11, 14-16]
2 x two-person rooms or 'flats' [Rooms 1 & 12]
3 x stair cases
2 x talking lifts
2 x bin rooms
3 x stores
2 x guest rooms [Rooms 28 & 36]
19 x one-person rooms or 'flatlets' [Rooms 19-27, 29-35, 37-39]
2 x two-person rooms or 'flats' [Rooms 17 & 18]"
"'Self-contained unit' means ... part of a building; ... which has been constructed ... for use as separate living accommodation."
"The Tribunal finds that the units could be capable of sustaining separate living but is persuaded by the argument by the RNIB that the nature and character of the whole building must be taken into account in determining this appeal. Kathleen Chambers House is a unit constructed specifically to meet the needs of blind or partially sighted people. The facilites provided in the building indicate that a range of needs can be supported, including residents who prefer a more independent style of living.
"The Tribunal finds:
"That such independent living can be accommodated in the units in dispute, but that it can also be provided in the smaller, 'single' person units that are not the subject of this appeal.
"The provisions of communal facilities at Kathleen Chambers House (including commercial kitchen, large dining refectory, laundry room, spa, and aided bathing facilites), are extensive and the Tribunal accepts that the RNIB did not intend to create within Kathleen Chambers House units for entirely independent living.
"The Tribunal notes that the Listing Officer has removed 32 'single' person units within Kathleen Chambers House from the Valuation List. The Tribunal considers that the Listing Officer has a duty to maintain an accurate List; it must assume therefore that the List, so far as it relates to the 32 said units, is an accurate assessment.
"In consequence, therefore, the Tribunal concludes that it must find a cogent distinction between those units removed from the List and those in dispute. The Tribunal is unable to find such a cogent distinction, but it notes that the principle difference is size. The units in dispute have a greater amount of living space, having been designed to accommodate two people. However, the Tribunal notes that per head, the size of the living space is actually less than provided for a single person in the smaller units. The Tribunal concludes that this distinction is not sufficient to justify inclusion of the disputed units in the Valuation List.
"For the reasons outlined the Tribunal concludes that the units in dispute do not constitute "self-contained units" in accordance with Article 2 of The Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992."
"I would be prepared to accept that in deciding whether a particular flat has or has not been constructed for use as separate living accommodation within a larger building, it will often be relevant to consider the extent of the communal [sic] facilites which have been provided in the flat and the extent of the communal facilites which have been provided in the remainder of the building."
"The facilities provided in the building indicate that a range of needs can be supported, including residents who prefer a more independent style of living... such independent living can be accommodated in the units in dispute..."
"The Tribunal accepts that the RNIB did not intend to create within Kathleen Chambers House units for entirely independent living."