Roadstone Ltd v Commissioner of Valuation

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date01 January 1962
Date01 January 1962

Supreme Court.

Roadstone Ltd. v. Commissioner of Valuation
ROADSTONE LIMITED
Appellants
and
The COMMISSIONER OF VALUATION, Respondent (1)

Rates - Rating - Annual value - Quarry - Whether quarry "land" within the meaning of the Valuation Acts - Whether quarry a separate hereditament from the land comprising it - Net annual value - Whether output of stone relevant to determination of net annual value - Whether evidence of price of similar land containing stone conclusive as to rent to be expected - Method of valuation of land containing quarry - Case stated - Poor Relief (Ir.) Act, 1838 (1 & 2 Vict., c. 56), ss. 63, 64, 67 - Valuation (Ir.) Act, 1852 (15 & 16 Vict., c. 63), ss. 10, 11, 12, 15, 29, 30 - Valuation (Ir.) Act,1854 (17 & 18 Vict., c. 8), ss. 4 and 5.

Case Stated under the provisions of s. 16 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1947, by the Circuit Court Judge of the Eastern Circuit (Judge Fawsitt).

The Case Stated was as follows:—

"This is a Case Stated by me, Diarmaid Fawsitt, sitting as Judge of the Eastern Circuit at Naas in the County of Kildare, pursuant to s. 16 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1947 (No. 20 of 1947), in the appeal in the title hereof, for the opinion of the Supreme Court.

1. There is pending before me a matter, namely, an appeal by the above named appellants against the revised valuation of the properties set out in the title hereof of which the appellants are the rated occupiers upon the grounds that the said valuations are excesive." [A copy of the appellants' notice of appeal and a copy of a certified extract from the valuation lists for the year ended the 28th February, 1954, were incorporated with, and formed part of, the Case Stated]. "At the hearing of this appeal that part of the appeal which refers to the houses, workshops, tarmac plant, etc. on the lands of Pluckerstown in the Electoral Division of Rathernan and County of Kildare was withdrawn and there is now before me only that part of the appeal which relates to the revised valuation of the hereditament decribed in the valuation list as 'Quarry and Land' on the lands of Carrick, Electoral Division of Rathernan and County of Kildare, which is hereinafter described as 'the quarry hereditament.'

During the hearing of the appeal herein, before me, the documents set out in the schedule hereto were produced and are incorporated herewith.

Schedule of Documents.

(a) The relevant certified extracts from the valuation list for the year ended the 28th February, 1954.

(b) The certificate of incorporation under the Companies Acts of the appellant Company.

(c) A map showing the lands the subject of the appeal.

(d) Four photographs of the quarry face and Hill of Allen.

3. The appellants are a limited liability company having their registered offices at Naas Road in the County of Dublin. The appellants carry on the business of the extraction and processing of stone, gravel and sand, for the purposes of roadmaking, road repairing and similar purposes. For the purposes of their business the said Company own and occupy certain land situate at the Hill of Allen in the Electoral Division of Rathernan and County of Kildare, which said lands include the quarry hereditament." [A map of all the lands owned and occupied by the appellant Company on the Hill of Allen accompanied and formed part of the Case Stated.]

4. The following facts were either proved or admitted at the hearing of the appeal before me:—

(a) The quarry hereditament which is the subject of Folio 9793 of the Register of Freeholders for the County of Kildare was purchased by the appellant Company subject to an annuity payable to the Irish Land Commission for the sum of £1,600 in the month of July, 1949, from one, Thomas Flood, and the said annuity was subsequently redeemed for the sum of £700. The lands comprised part of the lands of Pluckerstown containing 42 acres 2 roods 12 perches and part of the lands of Carrick containing 56 acres 1 rood 3 perches. The appellants are registered as full owners of the said lands the subject of Folio 9793. At the time of the purchase the vendor was aware of the existence of greenstone in the lands, and that the land was being purchased for the extraction of the stone. Prior to the purchase of the quarry hereditaments by the appellants they had acquired other land on the other side of the Hill of Allen from the quarry hereditament and were thereon carrying on quarrying operations on a small scale. In the year 1953 after the extraction of stone from the quarry hereditament had been in progress for four years, other areas of land containing greenstone in quality and quantity similar to that in the quarry hereditament were purchased by the appellants in the immediate vicinity of the quarry hereditament for prices varying from £20 per acre to £25 per acre. No rent is reserved in respect of the lands forming the quarry hereditament nor is any royalty paid by the appellants on or in respect of the stone being quarried and extracted therefrom.

(b) On the quarry hereditament the appellants are quarrying rock therefrom by means of blasting operations and removing the rocks so quarried by them to the adjoining lands of Pluckerstown upon which are situated all the appellants' manufacturing premises which are named in the title hereto, and in respect of which a separate rateable valuation is fixed. The stone so removed from the said manufacturing premises was converted thereat into road metal and tarmacadam.

(c) No part of the manufacturing premises of the appellants was situated upon the quarry hereditament, nor are there any buildings of any nature whatsoever situated upon the said lands, nor is there any roadway laid down from the quarry face to the manufacturing premises.

(d) The quarry hereditament at Carrick is used solely for the purpose of obtaining greenstone by blasting for subsequent converting into road making and repairing materials. The stone when taken from the quarry hereditament at Pluckerstown is in a unprocessed and raw state.

(e) The lands of Pluckerstown upon which the manufacturing premises of the appellants are situated are marked pink on the map" [which was incorporated with the Case Stated] "and the buildings thereon are indicated by the word, 'plant.' The quarry hereditament adjoins and is to the south-east of the said lands of Pluckerstown and the quarry face is shown thereon. That part of the lands marked pink upon which appear the words, 'quarry face,' which are enclosed by the red line form the quarry hereditament.

(f) No works of improvement, development or construction whatsoever have been carried out upon the quarry hereditament. The only work done by the appellants has been the quarrying of the greenstone which lies beneath a thin layer of soil on the Hill of Allen, which forms part of the quarry hereditament.

(g) The stone found in the Hill of Allen on the lands of Carrick is a greenstone which is very common and may be found in large quantities in the Dublin Mountains and elsewhere in Ireland.

(h) The appellants make a substantial profit out of the sale of the products manufactured by them at their manufacturing premises situated on the lands of Pluckerstown from the raw stone quarried at the quarry hereditament. The broken, i.e., raw stone extracted from the quarry face is of monetary value as a raw material but of how much value commercially it is I have not determined. The monetary value of the broken raw stone is much enhanced by its processing, which is carried out entirely on the separate hereditament in Pluckerstown. In the year ending the 31st March, 1953, 181,233 tons of stone were quarried and in the year ending the 31st March, 1954, 231,758 tons at the quarry hereditament. The Commissioner of Valuation in making his estimate of the net annual value of the quarry hereditament estimated the average annual output of stone from the quarry hereditament at 166,000 tons.

(i) The appellant Company has found no difficulty in purchasing outright land containing suitable stone in quantities sufficient for their requirements and they would not at any time be prepared to operate a quarry upon a royalty basis or a rent based on the output of the quarry. Lettings of quarries at a rent or royalty based on the amount of stone taken from the quarry, though not common, are not unknown in Ireland and county councils which carry on quarry operations usually take them upon this basis and the average royalty paid by them is 6d. per ton.

(j) The net annual value of some nine other similar hereditaments with estimated annual outputs ranging from 28,000 tone to 150,000 tons exclusive of buildings or processing plant were proved to range from £200 to £500 and comparisons were drawn by the respondent with the quarry hereditament and expert evidence of the letting value of the quarry hereditament as determined upon the basis of such comparisons was offered.

5. It was contended for the appellants:—

i, That the net annual value of the quarry hereditament should be determined as if the same were land within the meaning of s. 11 of the Valuation (Ireland) Act, 1852; or

ii, That if the said hereditament did not fall to be valued as land that the price paid by the appellants therefor and the direct evidence of the price for which similar land could be obtained was conclusive of its capital value and its annual value should be determined by the application to the said capital value of an approximate rate per centum per annum.

6. It was contended for the respondent:—

That except in so far as the quarry hereditament comprised agricultural land capable for use as such it should be valued upon an estimate of the rent for which, one year with another, the same might in its actual state be reasonably expected to let from year to year, the probable average annual cost of repairs, insurance, and other expenses (if any) necessary to maintain the same in its actual state, and all rates, taxes and public charges, if...

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