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

Section 798: polo grounds

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

1. Scope

1.1 This instruction applies to all Polo Grounds/ clubs.

1.2 Most clubs are affiliated to The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) which is the governing body for polo, responsible for setting the rules and regulations. In 2015 there were approximately 70 clubs affiliated to the HPA in England including Arena Polo only venues.

1.3 The quality of the clubs and grounds vary tremendously from modest local grounds to the high profile/ prestigious clubs with highly manicured super flat pitches. Generally the higher the level of polo being played (ranging from low goal to high goal) the higher the quality of the polo pitch.

1.4 Typically in addition to the polo pitches, the hereditament will also have a clubhouse, ground maintenance facilities and practice areas referred to as ‘stick and ball’ grounds. Some but not all will also have stabling as well as ancillary equine facilities such as horse walkers and canter / exercise tracks.

1.5 Most polo grounds maybe categorised as one of the following types:

a.Affiliated clubs playing high goal polo

b.Other affiliated clubs

c.Unaffiliated private grounds / clubs the best of which maybe better than some affiliated clubs. Where ‘polo is the predominant use, due to the polo pitch element these should be valued (and SCAT coded) as Polo Grounds and Premises rather than Stables & Loose Boxes or Riding Schools & Livery Yards.

1.6 A polo team consists of 4 players. Each player is handicapped from 2 to 10. The sum of the players handicap is the team handicap. The standard of matches is found by the team handicaps:

High Goal (17-22 team handicap) 5-6 chukkas play
Medium Goal (12-15 team handicap) 4-5 chukkas play
Medium / Low Goal (up to 10 handicap) 4 chukkas play

Each chukka is 7 minutes and the ideal is to have a fresh pony for each chukka. In low goal matches players may manage on 2-3 ponies.

1.7 The polo season in the UK is from May to September and indoor or arena polo is played throughout the winter.

1.8 Although it is the glamour of the high goal polo tournaments supported by Royal interest that capture the media and public interest 90 % of polo is played by amateurs at 2 goals or less at smaller venues around the country.

1.9 The ‘polo industry’ relies heavily on patronage and sponsorship.

2. List Description and Special Category Code

List Description: Polo Ground and Premises Scat Code: 216 Suffix: S or G (see para 3 below)

3. Responsible Teams

3.1 Polo grounds tend to fall within two main types -

a.Top grounds with significant visitor numbers, normally supported by ‘high profile’ corporate sponsorship. These will be dealt with by a designated Specialist from the Equine Class Co-ordination Team. A list of these clubs is contained in Appendix 1.

b.Regional grounds, often affiliated/ attached to riding schools and other equine establishments. These should be dealt with by Units, having regard to local values of other equine classes. Each Unit has a CCT member who will be able to offer support.

3.2 Queries of a complex nature arising from a particular case should be raised through the CCT, to be referred to the National Specialists Unit (NSU) facilitator.

4. Co-ordination

4.1 The Equine Class Co-ordination Team has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of this class. Contact details are available from P:\CEO1\Intranet\Reval 2017\VP & CCTs. The team is responsible for the approach, accuracy and consistency of valuations. The team will deliver Practice Notes describing the valuation basis for revaluation and provide advice as necessary during the life of the rating lists. Caseworkers have a responsibility to:

  • follow the advice given at all times

  • not depart from the guidance given on appeals or maintenance work without approval from the co-ordination team

  • seek advice from the co-ordination team should there be a need to bring new assessments into the Rating List

4.2 As there is likely to be limited rental evidence for this class, it is important that Units co-ordinate across boundaries, using fully the procedures described in section 6 part 1 and Practice Note 1 Revaluation 2017.

5.1 There is no specific legal framework for this class, although challenges may be made regarding:

  • identifying the correct unit of assessment:

  • the domestic/ non domestic borderline

  • agricultural exemption

  • dealing with seasonal use/ temporary buildings

Taking each one in turn -

5.2 Identification of the “Unit of Assessment”

Increasingly many equestrian establishments and leisure venues are diversifying into a multitude of other uses, often incorporating farm shops, cafes and the like.

Care should be taken in identifying the correct rateable occupier, particularly where facilities are shared between different ventures.

5.3 Domestic/ Non Domestic borderline

Occupiers may contend that their polo grounds are ancillary to their dwelling houses and that, as a consequence, not subject to non-domestic rating. This argument should be firmly rejected. A polo ground, “stick and ball” practice ground or extensive range of stabling for strings of polo ponies should not be regarded as a domestic “appurtenance” under section 66(1)(b) of LGFA 1988.

5.4 Agricultural exemption

Any argument that polo grounds fall within the agricultural exemption provisions of Schedule 5 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (LGFA 1988) is misplaced and should be resisted. Specifically, paragraph 2(d) of Schedule 5 to LGFA 1988 excludes ‘land used mainly or exclusively for sport or recreation’.

A typical scenario may include land used for polo less than 28 days a year, but used as grazing for the remainder. This mixed use does not exempt the land from rating as para 2(1)(a) defines “agricultural land” as:

“land used as arable, meadow or pasture ground only” (emphasis added)

Where difficulties arise, cases should be referred to the Technical Adviser.

5.5 Dealing with seasonal use/ temporary buildings

Due to the seasonal nature of polo, it may be argued that due to the infrequent use of facilities and use of often temporary buildings - rateability cannot be proven due to transience.

When considering this context, it would not be unreasonable to bear in mind the following:

  • The presence of permanent factors such as buildings, rails and prepared polo fields

  • Practice and stabling facilities

  • The organisation and preparation for the event

  • The importance of the event locally

  • The number of spectators attending and the financial return to the organisers

  • The prospect of annual continuance

6. Survey Requirements

6.1 An inspection check list for polo clubs and grounds is provided in Appendix 2. This should be completed for all new properties and updated on maintenance work.

6.2 Buildings are to be Measured to Gross Internal Area (GIA) having regard to the definitions contained in the VOA Code of Measuring Practice for Rating Purposes. The total extent of the hereditament should be clearly outlined on a site / location plan recording the location of the various facilities including the pitches and any fields used for pasture. Areas of value should be measured or calculated. It is incorrect simply to measure the area of the pitch omitting outfield, spectator car parking and concession areas. The planning status should be checked and any restrictions noted.

6.3 The plan/s and completed checklist should be stored in the property folder on EDRM.

6.4 If an inspection is made out of the playing season, care should be taken to ensure that the full extent of the hereditament is thoroughly investigated.

6.5 Whilst many polo grounds are not occupied under leasing arrangements, every effort should be made to obtain rental evidence where it exists, either by rent return or during the referencing process. An accurate record of tenant’s improvements should be made, together with additional information covering payments shared with domestic accommodation or adjacent premises, for example water/ sewerage/ maintenance of communal access roads.

6.6 The following typical features are all likely to be value significant and should be noted on the survey:

I. Polo Grounds

A polo club is likely to have several grounds, and each will probably have its own characteristics: the best being reserved for tournament games (with other clubs) and the poorer quality ones used for club chukkas. Accordingly, separate areas should be recorded for each individual ground together with their particular attributes:

  • the quality of the surface including its relative flatness. In common with other sporting pitches the best grounds aim to provide as true a playing surface as possible. This is likely to only be achieved after extensive levelling of the ground. The type of matches played (handicap level) will be an indicator of the likely quality.

  • the nature of the subsoil, pitch construction including details of drainage, water source and method of irrigation

  • the level of maintenance. The traditional method of “treading in”, the replacement of displaced divots between chukkas (periods of play) by the spectators, is often augmented by a rather more scientific repair regime after games.

According to The HPA a polo pitch should be a minimum length of 250 yards (230m) and a maximum of 300 yards (275m) by 200 yards (185m) wide although if boarded it need only be 160 yards (145m) wide. In addition there should be a safety zone of approximately 10 yards to each side and 30 yards at each end. Polo pitches are therefore normally between 13-16.3 acres.

The goal posts are 7.32m (8 yards) apart for normal play, 14.64m (16 yards) when playing with widened goals, and at least 3.05m (10 feet high). They are designed to be collapsible in case of collision.

The larger clubs will also have “stick and ball” grounds, which are used for practice. The extent and quality of these areas should also be recorded.

Where grounds are subject to any form of disability, e.g. they are liable to flooding; this should be clearly described on the survey.

II. Stabling

Some grounds will have stabling, possibly with livery facilities, others will not.

If the establishment has stables, it is important to record the number and type of boxes available, together with their size and mode of construction. The expectation is that most boxes will be close to the usual average size, approximately 3.5m x 3.5m.

Flooring and access routes will be durable, resilient and offer secure footing. There will be as much natural light as possible, with efficient use of artificial lighting. Easy access to water supplies, feed rooms or bedding litter storage and the dung heap is desirable. Details of these elements should be noted in order to help determine overall quality.

Yard layouts will vary. The traditional English yard will have boxes lining three, or sometimes four sides of an open square. In recent years, the American “barn” has become popular. This has all the boxes in one large, airy building, under one roof. Boxes are arranged opposite each other, in parallel lines and separated by an access way wide enough to accommodate a tractor and trailer. Boxes in adjoining ‘“streets’ may be ‘back-to-back’ with each other.

Ancillary facilities will also need to be recorded similarly. These will generally include tack rooms, feed stores, hay and straw barns or other storage areas.

Some grounds will have no long-term stabling facilities. A recent trend in the sport has been the supply of strings of polo ponies to clubs on match days by specialist livery stables. With the advent of the modern motorway network, it is not uncommon for such ponies to be transported surprisingly long distances by articulated horse transporters. Most venues will have therefore have “pony lines” - where ponies that have been transported to the site can be tethered before or after chukkas and in between games. If well designed, these will have been located to make maximum use of any available shade.

III. The Clubhouse and Allied Buildings

The clubhouse at a polo ground will vary in size and attributes from, at one extreme, the most simple of pavilions, with basic changing and refreshment facilities to, at the other, a quality set of purpose-built buildings where all departments are laid out to the highest standards. Top quality grounds will have grandstands, bars and restaurant facilities or tearooms, in addition to changing rooms and administrative offices. There may be suites for overnight accommodation of players.

Some grounds, even the most famous, may have spartan facilities – the tradition of changing in the back of the horsebox still lives on!

Details of the licensed rooms and their facilities should be noted.

Where the property is used as a venue for event purposes unrelated to Polo, details should be obtained regarding the extent and frequency of these events together with any appropriate consents. This might include a licence permitting weddings or civil partnership ceremonies.

Larger events might include tented “villages” and marquees and the degree of permanence of the temporary accommodation should be noted. Any brochures for the property should also be obtained together with details of this income stream including the entry fees, visitor numbers, and the range of hospitality options offered.

Occasionally, it may be found that the Clubhouse has been sublet and accordingly a separate assessment. In this instance full details should be ascertained of rent, gross receipts, outgoings etc by the issue of a form of return.

IV. Arena Polo

Both indoor and outdoor all-weather playing surfaces are being developed to considerably extend the playing season. These polo arenas are much smaller than traditional grounds and teams are restricted to three players (rather than four).

Outdoor arenas are likely to be boarded to a height of about 2m, and probably higher still behind the goals, to contain the ball and players. Above this boarding, netting may be erected to help minimise damage by an errant high-flying ball.

Playing surfaces are likely to vary: some may be waxed artificial turf, others mixtures of sand, sawdust and/or pulverised rubber. Whatever surface has been adopted, maintaining and keeping as true a playing surface as possible will be a priority. Drainage is also an important consideration. The playing surface is likely to be cambered to allow rainwater to be discharged directly into efficient storm-water drains. Details of the type of playing surface and system required to maintain it should be recorded. The type and quality of artificial lighting should also be noted.

Some clubs are known to have an indoor arena that can be used for play during all the winter months, regardless of the weather. The size and mode of construction of the structure should be recorded, in addition to the details of the playing surface and lighting arrangements, as outlined above.

Whenever possible, costs of construction should be ascertained.

V. Access & Parking

There is a need for good vehicular access both on to and within the site, not only for motorcars, but also for horse transport and other deliveries, which could be by articulated lorry. The nature and condition of roads (if any), tracks and other features that affect access to the polo ground should be noted.

Comprehensive parking arrangements for players, spectators and staff will also be needed. As the demand is likely to vary from day to day, enquiries should be wide-ranging and take account of the fact that one tournament at a prestigious club has been known to attract some 20,000 spectators on a single day. However the finals of the major tournaments probably attract no more than 4,000 spectators, and most are less than 1,000. The majority of club games attract very few spectators, and most of those will be ‘family and friends’. A programme of fixtures for the current season should be obtained from The HPA website (hpa-polo.co.uk) or The HPA Year Book and cross checked on inspection.

7. Survey Capture

7.1 All plans and surveys should be stored in the property folder on the Electronic Document Records Management (EDRM) system, with the Rating Survey captured on RSA.

7.2 Details of the polo pitches, practice grounds and venue income should be captured as ‘other additions’.

8. Valuation Approach

8.1 Polo grounds should principally be based on the rental method.

8.2 It is accepted rental evidence may be limited for this class, and a hybrid valuation approach to some grounds maybe considered appropriate where there is an additional revenue stream, not already reflected in the valuation of the premises or pitches.

8.3 The total RV is likely to result from the summation of the constituent parts:

a.The valuation of the stables and other ancillary buildings and or facilities the valuation of which will normally be based on prevailing local values for Stables and Loose boxes / Livery Yards. However there may be occasions when an uplift for quality is appropriate.

b.The value of the polo pitches. In this regard high goal games are restricted to the highest graded HPA clubs with the best quality pitches likely to be worth significantly more.

c.Other land utilised for outfield, spectators, concessions, car parking etc

d.An addition to reflect revenue received from other unrelated sources such as regular hospitality or other functions. This figure will be a percentage of the additional income generated by significant ‘non polo’ activities hosted on site. Revenue from ‘one off’ events or where other uses have no prospect of continuance should be disregarded.

8.4 Whilst rental evidence should be sought in the first instance, it often requires significant adjustment for this class. Tenant’s improvements are unlikely to be reflected, and passing rents may include domestic property. The seasonal nature of ‘polo’ often results in temporary accommodation being erected (in the form of tented hospitality) for major tournaments, which clearly means that any attempt to spot value permanent buildings and land is inappropriate.

8.5 The need for co-ordination between Units cannot be over emphasised.

9. Valuation Support

9.1 Polo Grounds and Premises should be valued using RSA to achieve valuations which follow the recommended approach.

9.2 Where a ‘hybrid’ method is used, valuations should be entered on RSA with any additional Rateable Value attributable to major events shown as ‘other additions’. A full record of how this sum has been calculated must be shown in RSA “remarks”.

Appendix 1: Polo grounds

List of Polo Clubs to be valued by specialist caseworkers.

  • Ascot Park Polo Club

  • Beaufort Polo Club

  • Binfield Heath Polo Club

  • Burningfold Polo Centre

  • Cheshire Polo Club

  • Cirencester Polo Club

  • Cowdray Park Polo Club

  • Fifield Polo Club

  • Guards Polo Club

  • Ham Polo Club

  • Hurtwood Polo Club

  • Kirklington Polo Club

  • Longdole Polo Club

  • Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club

Appendix 2: Polo grounds

Inspection checklist

Name of occupier (and owner if different)  
Address  
Telephone number  
Date of Inspection   Name of Referencer
Effective Date  

Part 1 - The hereditament

Location Rural Urban fringe Access to bridleways/open country?
Plan Define the hereditament. Show the layout of the premises and any associated dwellings – including those not in the hereditament. Show fencing and hedges
Tenure Owner Occupied Managed Rented If rented obtain full details of tenancy and follow up with FOR request
Use of  premises & Quality Riding School Livery Stables Polo ground or club Private Stables Stud Farm [Agricultural land & buildings present?]
Planning Permission   For what use is consent granted?     Specify restrictions  
Car Parking / areas used for events   Some of the value maybe reflected such as staff and livery parking but additional parking for tournaments / events may need to be added. Also record area used for marquees etc.Full details required to enable cross check. ·         Dimensions ·         Note surface ·         Is it adequate for visitors attending events? Is there adequate space for horseboxes and is this separately charged for?
Security CCTV cameras, etc
Literature Pick up any advertising / information leaflets Download information from the internet for the file
Services Electricity Water Heating

Part 2 - The stables and ancilliary buildings/facilities

(When recording on RSA, all except boxes are ‘other additions’)

Accommodation   (AUC) Basis Of Measurement Description Details - number, measurements and construction (brick/block/timber). Tick to confirm existence)
Looseboxes & Foaling Boxes   LBI               LBO Record number of different types of looseboxes / foaling boxes.   The average size of a loosebox is 13m2   The average size of a foaling box is 20m2   Measure any boxes that might be below 10m2 or above 20m2 Indoor: looseboxes / caged boxes / stalls / stables that open on to an internal corridor.  They have been created inside larger buildings.  The larger buildings range from conversions from former agricultural buildings to new purpose-builds.    Outdoor: looseboxes / stables that open on to an external yard.  Record the structure of the individual buildings, eg timber purpose built, stone / block / brick purpose built or adapted, rough wooden / stone sheds or former railway carriages.  Record presence of water, lighting and heating.  Record quality of yard, including base and fencing.    
Indoor riding arena   ARI GIA of the whole building A building housing a riding area, at least 20m by 40m (minimum dressage size).  Usually portal framed construction under asbestos or profiled metal sheet roof.  Some are converted agricultural buildings.  Record
    ·         The surface (wax coated, fibre mix, dry sand and rubber, or other), and presence of a watering system ·         Spectator stand, and / or judges’ stand ·         Floodlighting. ·         PA System ·         Mirrors ·         Sprinklers ·         Collecting Ring ·         Kick boarding
   
Outdoor riding arena / manège   ARO Overall area in m2. An enclosed outdoor riding area, commonly 20m by 40m or 20m x 60m.  Considerable groundwork will have been carried out including extensive drainage and surface material to provide an all weather surface suitable for purpose.  Do not confuse with a paddock -see later.  Record:
    ·         The surface material (wax coated, fibre mix, dry sand and rubber, grass or other). ·         Does it have drainage? ·         Is it well maintained or rough / waterlogged? ·         Spectator stand, and / or judges’ stand ·         Floodlighting. ·         PA System
   
Canterway   CNT Record number of canter ways A track typically 4m wide and 300m at least in length, circular or oval in shape, may be covered with an overhead roof or structure to provide shade or shelter, or may be open.  Record the surface material, and whether watering system.    
Covering Yard CVY Overall area m2. An area where mating takes place.     
Dutch / hay Barn   DUT  GIA Common on many farms, relatively cheap to construct, and designed to allow ventilation whilst giving protection from the rain.  It may either be open on all sides, or partially enclosed.  Usually used for the storage of hay or straw.     
Barn / Store   STO GIA This includes a broad spectrum, from small stores in traditionally constructed buildings, to fully enclosed purpose built structures.  Sometimes loose boxes have been created in part of the barn [it may be sometimes be referred to as an American barn], and the remainder is a general utility area, perhaps with a secure tack room or feed store created.  In these circumstances record the number of loose boxes, and calculate the total area GIA of the remainder.    
Gallops     GLG     GLW Record whether grass or all weather; a raised gallop & the length of each gallop in furlongs.   8 furlongs = 1 mile   1 furlong = 220 yards or 200m (approx) Slightly sloping gallops are considered the best. Grass gallops may be sown with moss to a density not found in the average meadow to provide a safe area underfoot on which it is safe to gallop a horse without injury. All weather gallops are more costly, and typically have a sand, woodchip, fibre/Equitrack or Polytrack composition base.  They may be used in all seasons and are less affected by seasonal weather    
Horse-walker (may be indoor or outdoor)   HWI HWO Record whether indoor or outdoor, the number of walkers and the number of horses that each can exercise. A structure that exercises several horses at once.  The horse walks around a central pivot powered by an electric motor.  They are of differing sizes and have different bases, concrete or earth and they may be open or enclosed.  The base and fencing and any surrounding structure are rateable, whereas the electric motor and turning frame are not rateable.  Horse-walkers with an earth base and rotating arm gear from a central electric motor will probably be de minimis in value terms    
Spectator Stand   SPC GEA of the base Will probably only be used for outdoor spectator stands because spectator stands in an indoor arena should be included in the GIA of the building    
Cross Country Courses    
    ·    Record length (in miles) ·    Number & types of jumps.
Ask for course plan or other literature.   Record seasonal availability.        
Equine swimming pool   SWM Record number of swimming pools, not area. Various different types, either indoor or outdoor
    ·         Simple underwater treadmill, no more than 10m long including ramps at either end. ·         More substantial pool comprising an "O" shaped pool where a horse can swim around in a circular motion. 
   
Lunge ring     Record area in m2 An area similar to an outdoor arena or manage, used for horses who are being led on lunge lead.  Note the surface and whether or not it is floodlit.     
Polo Pitches / 'stick and ball ( practice) areas     Record No of pitches, area in acres / hectares and quality. 10,000sqm = 1 hectare 2.47 acres = 1ha 1 acre = 4047 m2 Polo pitches and practice grounds are not exempt as agricultural land. The quality of each pitch may vary. Check with club how they rank them and what level of polo is played on each pitch. Remember to include safety zones.  Do not confuse with
    ·         outdoor arenas, or ·         field fenced to create smaller enclosures for horses to graze…these are exempt as agricultural land
   
Pony Lines Record Number, construction (metal, wood, separating partition) Place to tether horse before or after play.    
Field Shelter   LBO (discount) GEA Provides shelter for horses in fields.  Typically timber construction and lower specification to looseboxes.  Part open sided.     
Offices (OFF) GIA      
Tack Rooms (TAC) GIA      
Feed Rooms (STO) GIA      
Staff room (OFF) GIA      
Shop (OFF) GIA      
Solarium (STO)   GIA   Usually a room with a solarium inside it    
Portable Buildings (PKN) GIA      
Steel Containers (SCN) GIA      
Showers / WCs  (WCB - reflected) GIA        
Café /Bar/ Restaurant (OFF) GIA Note quality. Maybe considerable better than standard livery stable clubroom eg Pavilion style.    
Clubroom  / Bar / Restaurant (OFF) GIA Note quality. Maybe considerable better than standard livery stable clubroom eg Pavilion style.    
Farriery Workshop (STO) GIA      
Vets room (OFF) GIA      
Changing rooms (CHA) GIA      
Laundry (STO) GIA      
Shed  (SHD) GIA      
Garage  (GAR) GIA      
Caravan  (CAR) GIA      
Manure Bunker - reflected GIA      

Practice note: 2017: Polo grounds

1. Market Appraisal

1.1 Although membership of The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) has remained broadly static for the period 2011-2014, closer analysis within the categories of membership reveals contradictory trends:

  • Individual adult membership has fallen from 3,034 in 2011 to 2,724 in 2014 whereas;

  • Membership of those in education, Schools and University Polo Association members (SUPA), have increased from 379 in 2011 to 678 in 2014.

1.2 It is generally felt that this fall in individual adult membership has had a greater effect on the lower goal clubs and polo schools which probably accounted for much of the rise in affiliated clubs from 32 in 2005 to the present 70. Conversely there is a growing trend for polo linked to academic institutions where SUPA membership is on the increase.

1.3 In essence it appears that it is the newer clubs which were aiming to bring new people into the sport which have felt the effects of recession, whereas the established clubs seem to have faired comparatively well.

1.4 Prestigious corporate sponsorship remains available for major ‘high profile’ tournaments, which continue to attract significant visitor numbers.

2. Changes from the last Practice Note

2.1 Whilst a rentals basis of valuation remains unchanged, it is now considered appropriate to reflect any significant receipts from ‘non polo’ related activities such as corporate functions and weddings. Where it can be proven this unrelated income is sustainable, an addition should considered (see para 4.2) to the Rateable Value of land and buildings.

2.2 Greater emphasis should be given to pitch values, particularly for the top clubs. Which historically have often been based on prevailing agricultural land values.

3. Ratepayer Discussions

Discussions are to be held with The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the governing body for the sport. These are unlikely to impact on the contents of this Practice Note, but will assist in the valuation of the more prestigious clubs.

4. Valuation Scheme

4.1 As with the 2010 Rating Lists polo grounds should principally be valued via the rentals method.

4.2 It is acknowledged that there may also be circumstances when it is appropriate to undertake a hybrid valuation where there is an income stream such as wedding and venue hire not already reflected in the rates above. Although likely to be based on a percentage of gross receipts this is expected to be only a small proportionate addition to the valuation/ assessment of RV. This must be recorded on RSA under ‘other additions’.

4.3 Buildings including stables, clubhouses and arenas will continue to be based on either a unit rate or price per square metre derived from local equestrian scales.

4.4 Categorisation of the grounds is a key factor affecting valuation and it is important that due consideration is given at the analysis stage. It was apparent that the range of values adopted for polo pitches and practice grounds in 2010 was much too narrow and arguably at times less than the agricultural value. This created little variation between the facilities found at the best and more basic clubs.

4.5 Although considerable judgement maybe needed to determine the most appropriate values for pitches and practice areas in 2017, the differences between low and high goal pitches should be readily apparent, reflected not only by the standard of tournament played but their physical attributes i.e mowed fields or super flat, well drained and irrigated grounds with high sward quality.

4.6 It is clear that the more prestigious grounds and clubs may command a higher rent as they can provide ‘higher goal’ play and therefore host the larger tournaments.

4.7 It is recommended that the analysis and valuation of the grounds element for 2017 is in terms of price per hectare or acre, taking into account these factors. This follows the approach in 2010.

4.8 Polo Clubs and grounds are by their nature often very individual and there will frequently be elements that seem to deviate from the perceived norm, such as a very high quality of stabling when compared to a standard livery yard. This will need special consideration and judgement in applying the appropriate adjustment.

Appendix 1: Polo grounds in England & Wales

MASTER LIST of POLO GROUNDS in ENGLAND & WALES

See also http://www.hpa-polo.co.uk/directory.html and http://www.polonet.co.uk

together with the websites of individual polo clubs

Group Local Office Polo Club & Address
BIRMINGHAM COVENTRY STONELEIGH PARK POLO CLUB, (now based at the Dallas Burston Polo Gounds, Southam, Warwickshire) [NB Also has indoor arena facilities at Cubbington, for play between October and April]
BIRMINGHAM COVENTRY RUGBY POLO CLUB SPRINGHILL FARM, ASHLAWN ROAD, RUGBY, WARWICKSHIRE (off B4429) [NB Also has indoor arena facilities]
BIRMINGHAM COVENTRY Dr. DALLAS BURSTON'S POLO GROUNDS (to be known as the Royal Leamington Spa Polo Club) STONEY THORPE, SOUTHAM, LEAMINGTON SPA WARWICKSHIRE CV47 2DL
EAST ANGLIA CHELMSFORD ASHFIELDS POLO CLUB, ASHFIELDS FARM, GREAT CANFIELD, DUNMOW, ESSEX CM6 1LD
EAST ANGLIA NORWICH LIGHT DRAGOONS POLO CLUB ROBERTSON BARRACKS, SWANTON MORLEY, DEREHAM, NORFOLK NR20 4TX
EAST MIDLANDS LEICESTER RUTLAND POLO CLUB, LANGHAM, NR OAKHAM, RUTLAND
LEEDS YORK TOULSTON POLO CLUB, TOULSTON PARK, NEAR TADCASTER, YORKSHIRE
LIVERPOOL CREWE CHESHIRE POLO CLUB, SUNDIAL HOUSE, WHITEHALL LANE, LITTLE BUDWORTH, TARPORLEY, CHESHIRE [Also has two grounds on the estate of Sebastian de Ferranti - the Club's Patron]
LONDON (NORTH) BARNET BELMONT POLO CLUB, THE RIDGEWAY, MILL HILL LONDON NW7 1QT
LONDON (SOUTH) WIMBLEDON HAM POLO CLUB, THE PAVILION, HAM HOUSE GROUNDS, PETERSHAM ROAD, HAM, Nr RICHMOND, SURREY TW10 7AH
LONDON (SOUTH) WIMBLEDON HAM POLO CLUB, R/O DOUGLAS HOUSE, PETERSHAM ROAD, RICHMOND, SURREY
LONDON (SOUTH) WIMBLEDON HAM POLO CLUB, RICHMOND PARK, (Near ROEHAMPTON GATE), SURREY
READING AYLESBURY WEST WYCOMBE PARK POLO CLUB, WEST WYCOMBE PARK WEST WYCOMBE, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE HP14 3AJ
READING GUILDFORD ANNINGSLEY PARK, BROX ROAD, OTTERSHAW, SURREY
READING GUILDFORD ASH FARM, BOUSLEY RISE, OTTERSHAW, SURREY KT16 0LB
READING GUILDFORD ASCOT PARK POLO CLUB, WESTCROFT PARK FARM, WINDLESHAM ROAD, CHOBHAM, SURREY GU24 8SN [NB Also has arena facilities]
READING GUILDFORD HURTWOOD PARK POLO CLUB, HORSHAM LANE, EWHURST, near CRANLEIGH, SURREY GU6 7SW
READING GUILDFORD ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY POLO CLUB RMA SANDHURST, CAMBERLEY, SURREY
READING OXFORD BINFIELD HEATH POLO CLUB, THE COACH HOUSE, BINFIELD HEATH, HENLEY ON THAMES, OXON RG9 4JR
READING OXFORD KIRTLINGTON PARK POLO CLUB, PARK FARM, KIRTLINGTON, OXFORDSHIRE OX5 3JQ
READING OXFORD HEATHFIELD PARK POLO CLUB, HEATHFIELD VILLAGE, BLETCHINGDON, OXFORDSHIRE OX5 3DX [NB Has indoor arena facilities]
READING OXFORD ARLINGTON ARENA POLO, HEATHFIELD EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, BLETCHINGDON, OXON OX5 3DX [NB Has arena facilities, but apparently no polo grounds]
READING READING GUARDS' POLO CLUB SMITH'S LAWN, WINDSOR GREAT PARK, EGHAM, SURREY TW20 0HP [Grounds divided by Surrey/Berkshire county boundary - bulk of value lies in Berkshire]
READING READING GUARDS' POLO CLUB, FLEMISH FARM, SMITHS LAWN, WINDSOR GREAT PARK, EGHAM, SURREY
READING READING ROYAL COUNTY OF BERKSHIRE POLO CLUB, NORTH STREET, WINKFIELD, WINDSOR, BERKSHIRE SL4 4TH [NB Also has arena facilities]
READING READING COWORTH PARK POLO CLUB, THE POLO CENTRE, LONDON ROAD, SUNNINGHILL, ASCOT, BERKSHIRE SL5 7SE
READING REIGATE EPSOM POLO CLUB, EQUUS EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, HORTON COUNTRY PARK, HORTON LANE, EPSOM, SURREY KT19 8PL [NB Also has arena facilities]
ST ALBANS CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE AND NEWMARKET, LOWER FARM, DULLINGHAM, NEWMARKET, SUFFOLK CB8 9UX
ST ALBANS ST ALBANS WOLVERS PARK POLO CLUB, WOOLMERS PARK ESTATE, LETTY GREEN, Nr HERTFORD, HERTS SG14 2NX
ST ALBANS ST ALBANS THE HAMPSTEAD, WOODLANDS FARM, ARKLEY LANE, ARKLEY, BARNET, HERTS
SOUTH EAST WORTHING COWDRAY PARK POLO CLUB, COWDRAY PARK, Near MIDHURST, WEST SUSSEX
SOUTH EAST WORTHING COWDRAY PARK POLO CLUB, AMBERSHAM, Near MIDHURST, WEST SUSSEX
SOUTH EAST WORTHING KNEPP CASTLE POLO CLUB, THE POLO OFFICE, KNEPP CASTLE, WEST GRINSTEAD, HORSHAM, WEST SUSSEX RH13 8LJ
SOUTH WALES NEWPORT MONMOUTHSHIRE POLO CLUB THE COACH HOUSE, RUPERRA CASTLE, Nr RUDRY, MONMOUTHSHIRE NP10 8GG
SOUTH WEST DORCHESTER ORCHARD POLO CLUB, VALE FARM, WEST ORCHARD, SHAFTESBURY, DORSET
SOUTH WEST EXETER HAYDON POLO, JCM EQUESTRIAN SERVICES, HAYDON FARM, BLACKBOROUGH, CULLOMPTON, DEVON EX15 2HZ
SOUTH WEST TAUNTON TAUNTON VALE POLO CLUB, ORCHARD PORTMAN, TAUNTON, SOMERSET
SOUTH WEST TAUNTON WEST SOMERSET POLO CLUB, CARNARVON ARMS HOTEL, BRUSHFORD, DULVERTON, SOMERSET
WESSEX SOUTHAMPTON NEW FOREST POLO CLUB (formerly RHINEFIELD), NEW PARK FARM, BROCKENHURST, HAMPSHIRE
WESTERN GLOUCESTER BEAUFORT POLO CLUB, DOWN FARM, WESTONBIRT, TETBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL8 8QW
WESTERN GLOUCESTER EDGEWORTH POLO CLUB, FIELD BARN, EDGEWORTH, STROUD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE GL6 7JF
WESTERN GLOUCESTER CIRENCESTER PARK, THE POLO OFFICE, THE OLD KENNELS, CIRENCESTER PARK, CIRENCESTER, GLOS GL7 1UR
WESTERN GLOUCESTER CIRENCESTER PARK POLO CLUB MATCH GROUNDS, ASTON DOWN, GLOS
WESTERN GLOUCESTER CIRENCESTER PARK POLO CLUB PRACTICE GROUND, JACK BARROW, THE MISERDEN ESTATE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
WESTERN SWINDON ANSTY, NEW BARN FARM, ANSTY, SALISBURY, WILTSHIRE SP3 5PX
WESTERN SWINDON DRUIDS LODGE (no other details, except 20 mins from both Tidworth & Ansty and 'phone no. 01722 782597) [NB has arena facilities]
WESTERN SWINDON INGLESHAM POLO CENTRE, THE LYNT FARM, INGLESHAM, SWINDON, WILTS SN6 7QZ [NB Also has indoor & outdoor arena facilities]
WESTERN SWINDON TIDWORTH POLO CLUB, TEDWORTH PARK, TIDWORTH, WILTS SP9 7AH [NB Also has new grounds, wef 2001 season, at Kimpton and Collingbourne Ducis]

Practice note 1: 2010

1. Co-ordination Arrangements

Polo Grounds are a Group co-ordination class and as such responsibility for ensuring that the appropriate co-ordination takes place lies with individual Groups. As there is known to be only limited rental evidence for this class, it is important that Groups co-ordinate across boundaries, using fully the procedures described in RM Section 6: Part 1 and Practice Note 1 – Revaluation 2010.

For R2010 Special Category Code 216 should be used. As a Group Class, the appropriate suffix letter should be G.

2. The Economic Background [as at July 2008]

Since the R2005 AVD (1 April 2003), polo as a sport has continued to attract a growing number of players and spectators. Investment in new clubs continues to grow and there are now significantly more opportunities to play in areas that hitherto have not been noted for their polo facilities, as well as in the more traditional heartlands in the south of England. At the start of the 2008 season wealthy “patrons” were still coming forward to sponsor their teams’ progress in a multiplicity of tournaments and competitions but with the generally gloomy economic climate at AVD (1 April 2008) prospects of continuance may not be as bright.

More generally, polo is no longer the exclusive game for the wealthy that it was once perceived to be, but it is still an expensive sport in which to participate.

3. Rental Analysis

Analysis should be carried out in accordance with the main section (paragraph 4).

4. Valuation

Valuations should be carried out in accordance with the main section (paragraph 5).

5. IT Support

The development within RSA of analysis and valuation scales specifically for sports grounds, sports clubs and equestrian occupations should enable input of factual data in one or more survey units to achieve valuations that follow the recommended approach.

Practice note 1: 2005: Polo grounds

1. Co-ordination Arrangements

Polo Grounds are a Group co-ordination class and as such responsibility for ensuring that the appropriate co-ordination takes place lies with individual Groups. As there is known to be only limited rental evidence for this class, it is important that Groups co-ordinate across boundaries, using fully the procedures described in RM section. 2: Section 1. To assist this process, a master list (which is known to be incomplete) of polo clubs and grounds is attached as Appendix 1 to the main section.

For R2005 Special Category Code 216 should be used. As a Group Class, the appropriate suffix letter should be G.

[Addresses of any new polo grounds or other grounds not appearing in Appendix 1, together with any other detail changes that need to be made to it, should be notified to the co-ordinating Technical Adviser.]

2. Rental Analysis

Analysis should be carried out in accordance with the main section (paragraph 4), with notification sent to the co-ordinating Technical Adviser.

3. Valuation

Valuations should be carried out in accordance with the main section (paragraph 5).