HC Deb 25 February 1969 vol 778 cc1271-2
35. Mr. Bidwell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what criteria a deputy valuation officer recently recommended a reduction in the gross figure for property and land at Arundel from £2,100 to £1,850 and in the rateable value from £1,722 to £1,513, and a reduction in the gross figure for another property there from £2,060 to £2,000 and in the rateable figure from £1,688 to £1,638.

Mr. Harold Lever

I assume that the Question refers to recent reductions in the rating assessments on Arundel Park and Arundel Castle. The valuation officer recommended reductions in the Arundel Castle figures only. These reductions, of £60 in the gross value and £50 in the rateable value, recognise that there is inevitably an element of imprecision where larger values are involved, and particularly so in the valuation of such an unusual property.

Mr. Bidwell

Is my hon. Friend aware that a valuation officer stated in court that the noble Lord the Duke of Norfolk's place was in danger of falling into the hands of long-haired pop stars? If the noble Duke is in difficulties, should he not apply for a rate rebate, just as thousands of people throughout the country must do in these circumstances?

Mr. Lever

Rateable values are fixed by the open market price of the property concerned and not in relation to possible special and specially opulent tenants.