Our work - 09/11/2022

Apple Jacks Adventure Farm

Our business rates expert, Colin Hunter, was appointed to act as Expert Witness for the owner occupier of this farm attraction in Warrington.

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The Challenge

  • The property is a diversification scheme in the middle of a 300-hundred-acre farm.
  • It offers various activities throughout the year, including tractor rides during the summer and a Spooky World at Halloween.
  • The Rateable Value was £35,000 with the owner already seeking unsuccessfully to reduce this via the Valuation Tribunal.
  • In defence of their existing Rateable Value assessment, the Valuation Office produced valuations higher than £35,000 as evidence.

Our Solution

  • We engaged in discussions with the Valuation Office, agreeing facts and evidence and the basis of the valuation.
  • Advice was provided in respect of the appropriate level of value and any offers that should be made to settle the appeal.
  • All factors to support a reduction were taken into account including: exemption for the farm land; the non-rateable capital needed to set up the attraction; the costs of repairs insurance; the risk factors affecting an open air attraction and; the specific risk factors affecting this property. 
  • We liaised with the owner’s lawyers and other advisors and produced expert reports setting out an independent opinion of value based on the accounts for the business.
  • Finally, we attended the Upper Tribunal hearing and presented evidence that showed that the Rateable Value was excessive.


  • Having heard the case, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) determined the appeal in the owner’s favour reducing the Rateable Value from £35,000 to £11,750. This was backdated to 1 April 2017.
  • In addition, the owner can now claim 100 per cent Small Business Rates Relief.

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