Farm­ing

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - FARMING -

Ru­ral busi­nesses and landown­ers are be­ing ad­vised to pre­pare ap­peals against the sport­ing rates val­u­a­tion no­tices which are about to be is­sued by as­ses­sors.

Sport­ing rates are be­ing rein­tro­duced in Scot­land af­ter a gap of 22 years, and last Novem­ber ru­ral busi­nesses were asked for de­tails of their land’s sport­ing right po­ten­tial on which the val­u­a­tion scheme would be based.

How­ever ac­cord­ing to land agents Sav­ills, it is un­re­al­is­tic to ex­pect ac­cu­racy given the enor­mity of the task and the time and re­sources avail­able to the as­ses­sors. The com­pany sug­gests that the new rates will rely on the ap­peals sys­tem to en­sure fair as­sess­ments are ar­rived at, and ad­vises busi­nesses to make use of the six-month win­dow from re­ceiv­ing a no­tice to lodg­ing such an ap­peal.

Sav­ills ru­ral di­rec­tor in Perth, Hugo Struthers, said: “The as­ses­sors are in the midst of an enor­mous chal­lenge. If we look back to 1995, around 7,000 en­tries were in­cluded in the roll and if any­thing this num­ber will have in­creased in the in­ter­ven­ing 22 years. This is why the no­tices are be­ing is­sued in phases.

“Ru­ral business and landown­ers need to be proac­tive: they need to gather to­gether all val­u­a­tion no­tices re­ceived, along with the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in their in­for­ma­tion re­quest forms, and fi­nally they need to in­ves­ti­gate how the im­me­di­ate li­a­bil­ity can be

BY NANCY NICOLSON

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