June 2011: Allen Evans, Head of the Gilbert Evans’ Rating team has recently been appointed to the UK Garden Rating Forum.

“Being a member of the Garden Centre Rating Forum has enabled me to put across the views of my clients and express their concerns” commented Allen Evans. “We are now close to agreeing with the Valuation Office the main basis of valuation for the 2010 rating list.”

The Garden Centre Rating Forum is a consortium made up of Valuation Office Agency representatives and private practice surveyors representing ratepayers. Following a number of meetings over the past 15 months, and through the exchange of evidence and views, the above forum are now near to reaching agreement which will in turn enable appeals to be progressed.

The work of the forum has included discussion on:

• The appropriate basis of measurement
• Range of values and value relativities
• Planning restrictions
• Classification of garden centres into five groups
• Treatment of specific areas including additional land
• The state of the industry as at the antecedent valuation date (1st April 2008)