Rating Manual section 6 part 3: valuation of all property classes

Section 145: brickworks and clay tileworks

This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.

1. Co-ordination

As a class these properties are the responsibility of the Mineral Valuers. Many of the properties are situated in industrialised areas and Mineral Valuers should liaise with GVOs and Specialist Rating Units regarding the assessment of similar properties in the vicinity, particularly when considering site values.

Hereditaments in this class are rarely let and all evidence of open market rents for these properties should be forwarded to Mineral Valuer South for co-ordination purposes.

2. Description

A typical works has a clay processing area where raw clay is ground down, mixed and reduced to a plastic state for extrusion or pressing into moulds. The forming of bricks and tiles is either by extrusion or pressing by various methods after which the products are transferred to driers or a drying area for their initial reduction of moisture content. Following this initial drying process, the products are transferred to kilns where the temperature is systematically increased to a firing temperature in excess of 1000oc. After firing and cooling, the products are packed and wrapped for despatch. The handling of bricks and tiles in a modern factory is highly mechanised, although older works which are more labour intensive still remain.

Modern works often have all the processes contained within a large single building: older works may consist of a series of buildings and extensions of varying heights and construction materials.

Kilns and Driers are classified as plant items and a working knowledge of the various types and of The Plant and Machinery Orders is essential for referencing and valuation purposes.

3. Survey requirements

Basis of Measurement


The preferred basis of measurement to be adopted for hereditaments within this class is Gross Internal Area of the buildings (see VO Code of Measuring Practice for Rating Purposes). In addition, the area of land and site improvements should be measured and noted taking care to include any ‘stocking areas’ which may not be in use at the time of the inspection.

Plant and Machinery

As a class of hereditament, these properties are plant intensive. The rateability and referencing of plant and machinery should be tested in accordance with the principles in RM 4:3. Major items for consideration include kilns, driers and settings and supports for the clay processing operations.

4. Basis of Valuation

Hereditaments within this class are rarely let on the open market and have traditionally been valued by use of the contractor’s basis (see Rating manual: section 4 part 3). Reference should be made to the appropriate sections of the VOA Cost Guide.

As indicated above, many modern brick works now resemble large factory units and are sometimes situated at or in close proximity to industrial estates. The valuer should therefore liaise closely with GVOs and SRUs and, where appropriate, undertake valuations on both the Rentals and Contractor’s methods. Where significant valuation differences arise by use of alternative methods, the matter should be reported with copies of the alternative valuations to Mineral Valuer South. Mineral Valuer South will refer the problem to Head of Minerals where necessary.


For valuations on the contractor’s basis the site should be valued in accordance with the general principles set out in Rating manual: section 4 part 3. Brickworks were originally established close to the source of raw materials and may be in rural as well as industrial locations. Site values should be based on an appropriate level of industrial user and liaison with the GVOs and SRUs should be maintained. Site improvements and services would normally be additional items in the valuation.

For valuations on the rentals basis, site values will have regard to those adopted for other industrial classes in that locality.


If the works has a contiguous quarry, an addition to the assessment for the mineral extracted or used in the production of clay products will be required.

This element of the valuation should be reviewed on an annual basis.

Infilling operations in the quarry will also require a judgement to be made on whether a separate rateable assessment for landfilling purposes is required.

Valuation Considerations

Full co-ordination on the valuation and level of assessment should be maintained by Mineral Valuers. There are indications that more leases are being granted for this class of property and for works producing similar products from concrete.

Valuers should be aware of this evidence when making judgements on the levels of assessment to adopt for brickworks and clay tileworks.

Case Law

R v Westbrook and R V Everist 1847 (see Ryde on Rating and the Council Tax C.607) are the first significant cases on the rating of brickfields. More recent consideration of the rateability and valuation of brickworks and similar properties can be found in:

Yorkshire Brick Co. Ltd v Hanstock (VO) 1959 - Ref. RIT Vol.52 737

Staffordshire Potteries Holdings Ltd v Garner (VO) 1966 - Ref. RA 1967 p.31

Grimer v Sharples (VO) 1982 - Ref. RVR Dec 1983 p.249

Royal Bathrooms v Maulding 1984 - Ref. RA 1984 p.182

Due to the nature of brickworks other cases on the valuation of plant may be relevant.