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

Section 265: coastguard and coastwatch stations

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

1. Co-ordination

This advice is in respect of Coastguard and Coastwatch stations. The class has a primary description code MX and a Special Category Code 411, with a suffix G as dealt with by Group.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) occupations should be described as “Coastguard station and premises” and National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) occupations, which are used solely as coastal lookouts, should be described as “Look-out and premises”.

2. Identification

2.1 Coastguard Stations

Coastguard stations are in the occupation of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Their occupations can include any of the following elements:

  • Coastguard Rescue Station (used by volunteer team)

  • Equipment store

  • Garage for vehicle and inflatable inshore boat

  • Kitchen

  • Changing facilities and showers

  • Sector Manager’s Office (manager for local volunteer teams)

  • Office accommodation likely to include a training room

  • Parking

  • Maritime Coordination Centre (Operations base)

  • Office accommodation with good coastal visibility (for Area Operations Manager, administrative staff, Counter

  • Pollution Officer, Rescue Centre Coordination Manager, Coastal Safety Manager).

  • Pyrotechnics storage

  • Communications tower

  • Meteorological tower

  • Parking

  • Surveyor’s Office (may be co-located with any of above)

  • Office accommodation (good coastal visibility advantageous but not essential)

  • Parking

2.2 Coastal Look-out Stations

While some coastal lookouts may still be used by the MCA for other purposes the Agency no longer uses them for their original purpose.

Operational lookouts are occupied by the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI). The NCI is voluntary organisation set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores after many small Coastguard stations closed. NCI is a registered charity managed by a board of Trustees with a Constitution agreed by the Charities Commission. It is unconnected with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Whether the occupier is MCA or NCI can be found by checking the NCI web site ( www.nci.org.uk), which lists its operative sites with addresses (but not post codes) and coordinates with, in some instances, photographs. The site currently also includes locations where there are plans to set up new stations, which if established will need to be appropriately described and assessed.

The NCI has not commissioned any stations of its own design, and instead utilises premises that have mostly been acquired from other parties. The size and design of its existing stations (which vary) are not necessarily of the specification that the NCI needs.

3. Measurement

All properties should be measured to NIA and GIA in order that in future alternative methods of valuation may be considered.

4. Valuation

It is anticipated that most hereditaments will be considered on a comparable rental basis however there may be some of a specialised character for which the contractor’s basis will be required and reference should be made to the Cost Guide for the relevant elements.

As MCA coastguard stations no longer operate lookouts, towers originally constructed for this purpose are no longer required for that function. Disused towers may be ignored in the valuation unless used for telecoms but lookouts that have been put to other uses should contribute to value.

Masts are to be valued on the Contractors Basis according to the Cost Guide.

Coastguard and Coastwatch Stations - Practice Note - Revaluation 2017

1. Market Appraisal

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is currently part way through a national re-organisation of its structure and estate known as “The Future Coastguard Programme” intended to deliver a modernised Coastguard service fit for the 21st century.

  • Between September 2014 and December 2015, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) at Solent, Portland, and Brixham are due to close, and the sites at Liverpool, Swansea and Thames will become Coastal Operations Bases but will no longer have a search and rescue coordination function.

  • The remaining nine MRCCs are planned to be upgraded to Coastguard Operations Centres (CGOC) and, together with a desk at the London Port Authority, will be networked through the new National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham to create a fully-resilient national command and control network.

From April 2015 the Agency will be taking on additional Search and Rescue Helicopter responsibilities.

  • Helicopter search and rescue capacity will transition from the current mixture of military and civilian arrangements to a single contract which will operate search and rescue helicopters across the United Kingdom. The Agency will manage this contract.

  • Operations will commence progressively from 2015 and will be fully operational across the United Kingdom by summer 2017.

  • New bases are planned to open at Inverness and Humberside in April 2015; Caernarfon and Manston in July 2015; Cardiff St Athan in October 2015; and Prestwick and Newquay in January 2016.

  • Three existing Coastguard helicopter bases, at Sumburgh, Lee-on-Solent and Stornoway, will transition to the new arrangements in 2017.

As the MCA has now become more reliant on radio communications it does not have any need for coastal lookout stations. However the National Coastwatch Institution, a separate organisation to the MCA, largely peopled by volunteers continues to use some old lookout posts as part of its function

2. Changes from the last practice note

The valuation approach on either rentals or contractor’s remains unchanged. However changes in the MCA estate, planned prior to the AVD, are likely to lead to some redundant or surplus buildings in the next few years. Where valuations are undertaken on the contractor’s basis the modern equivalent building may be significantly different from what is evident on the ground.

3. Ratepayer Discussions

Some liaison has taken place with the MCA when writing this guidance and they are happy to assist the VOA if necessary with the provision of plans etc.

4. Valuation Scheme

No agreed valuation scheme exists with MCA but most of the hereditaments are not bespoke and will be valued on a comparable rentals basis.

Some properties may be of a specialised nature with no open market rental evidence and these should be valued using the contractor’s basis (CB). To obtain information on costs reference should be made to the Cost Guide for existing sites and building cost forms of return should be issued in respect of new hereditaments with further advice sought from the CCT facilitator or other members of the NSU Civics team on CB additions and adjustments.

Disused lookout towers no longer required for that function should be ignored unless they have been put to alternative uses.

Communication masts should be valued on the contractors basis using cost guide information.