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

Section 860: telecommunication masts and other wireless transmission sites

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

1. Scope

This Class encompasses all strands of the Telecommunications and Broadcast Industry. The six main areas are;

  • Mobile Network Operators

  • TV and Radio Signal Broadcasters

  • Emergency Services

  • Traffic Monitoring Sites

  • Wireless Broadband Operators

  • Small WiFi/Bluetooth sites in buildings

Each site can be considered as a Communication Station of some sort and may additionally include premises. Appendix 1 provides a glossary of terms generically used in the Telecommunications Market.

2. List Description and Special Category Code

All the above types of sites should be categorised as follows:

Type Description Code Description SCAT Suffix
Mobile phone, TV/Radio Broadcasting Sites and Emergency Services MT1 Communication Station and Premises 066 G

3. Responsible Teams

Business Units are responsible for all wireless telecommunication hereditaments, including individual list entries, revisions for Material Changes of Circumstances and appeal settlements. All Business Units, through their Mast Coordinators (UMC)and the Telecoms Team (TT) within the National Specialists’ Unit are responsible for ensuring effective co-ordination takes place.

When a wireless site is connected to a network or to customers by fixed line optical fibres or unbundled BT local loops, further advice on unit of assessment should be sought from the Telecoms Team via the Unit Class Coordinator. This is because it may have an impact on determining the unit of assessment. See Rating Manual, Section 6: Part 3: Section 873 – Next Generation Access Telecommunications Networks (NGA).

4. Co-Ordination

The Mast Class Co-ordination Team has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of this class. You can find contact details VP and CCT Members. The team are responsible for the approach to and accuracy and consistency of all telecommunication mast and any other wireless telecommunication site valuations applicable to this section of the manual. 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 before starting any new work

5.1.1 Identification of the hereditament

For a hereditament to exist the four essential elements of rateable occupation must be present; the occupation must be actual, exclusive, beneficial and not be transient. See Rating Manual Section 3: Part 1: Part C Hereditament (Para 3).

In the case of some of Wireless Broadband actual occupation may be for less than twelve months and will fail the fourth test by virtue of being too transient.

Section 5.1.2 below specifically outlines the additional consideration e.g. SI 2421/3383 required in the establishment of a Mast hereditament.

Rateable occupation is covered in Ryde on Rating at Division B, Chapter 2. and was considered in some detail by the Court of Appeal in Vtesse Networks Ltd v Bradford (VO) (2006) EWCA Civ 1339 CA RA 427.

5.1.2 Telecommunication sites which are Artificial Hereditaments

Telecommunication sites are one of the classes of hereditaments which may fall outside the normal rules of unit of assessment. These types of hereditaments are known as Artificial Hereditaments. See Rating Manual Section 3: Part 1.

The Non Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (England) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 2421) came into effect on 1 October 2000 with the aim of allowing the aggregation of all site sharers into a single hereditament, with the principal site operator or “host” being responsible for rates.

Telecommunication apparatus of Central List Rating List occupiers, who are not the host, are treated as “excepted apparatus” and are excluded from the aggregation. It should be noted that the existence of central list site sharers will qualify the site as a shared site under SI 2421 and the Host should be assessed as they are in rateable occupation.

The Non Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (Wales) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No. 3383) came into effect on 1 April 2001 in respect of local rating list in Wales. Although worded slightly differently; it mirrors the English regulations.

The Host regulations will only apply to shared sites. That is where a site is occupied by two or more operators.

5.2. Exclusive Test

The regulations outlined above are not intended to make a landowner or landlord, who is not in the telecommunications business, responsible for the rates liability where they are in occupation of land, buildings or structures for the purposes other than telecommunications.

An example might be a hospital, school, water tower or a farmer’s field on which space is let to a telecommunications operator. The telecommunications use creates a separate hereditament as this is a different use to the main hereditament.

The regulations achieve this by: -

a.ecifically applyingo a “telecommunication hereditament”, which is defined as a site forming a hereditament occupied exclusively by telecommunications apparatus of either a single operator or more than one operator; and

b.not applying the aggregation where the telecommunications hereditament is on or forms part of a structure occupied by the host for any purpose other than the provision of or operation of a site for telecommunications apparatus.

It should be noted that an exclusive telecommunications hereditament means a broadcast or mobile (wireless telegraphy) telecommunications hereditament, not a BT or any other fixed line/fibre exchange.

The exclusivity test disregards the presence of ancillary accommodation used in the normal operation of a telecoms site, which may correctly form part of the principal telecoms hereditament.

5.2.1 Exclusive Test Examples

A water tower occupied by a water company which lets space on the water tower under a separate agreement to one or more mobile phone operators. Note the water tower is the principal hereditament. This is because it is not occupied exclusively by telecommunications equipment and neither is its primarily used for sending or receiving wireless signals.

In this case the provisions of SI 2421 are not satisfied and each operator will have a separately rateable telecommunication hereditament. No artificial hereditament exists and the normal rules of assessment apply.

However exceptions may arise in the case where a water tower is redundant for the purpose it was initially designed. Or where as with a BT rooftop there is an intervening agreement allowing a third party to offer the site for transmission.

The same rules apply to the roof of say an office block where each operator has a separate agreement with the building owner and there is no principal telecommunications hereditament.

But, if the owner lets the entire rooftop to a telecommunications site provider. And then they sublet the rooftop to individual operators as site sharers, the site provider becomes a host of a principal telecommunications hereditament. All the site sharers must be aggregated into the site provider’s host telecommunications hereditament.

Note there must be more than one operator sharing the site for a host assessment to be created.

5.3 Single Operator Sites

It is important to remember that sites should be assessed to the operator and not to the landlord or management company. This approach should be followed even where the site is provided by an infrastructure provider such as Arqiva or Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) who are not broadcasting themselves.

When another operator moves onto the site or where the infrastructure provider broadcasts or transmits themselves then the status of the site changes to a shared or “hosted site”. The VOA will consider if and how the Host regulations apply and determine the rateable occupier of the shared site.

5.4 Shared Sites

On a shared site, it is important to first identify the “principal telecommunication hereditament” and who is the host and who is in rateable occupation of the whole telecommunications site including the site sharers.

A host is defined by the SI 2421 & 3383 as

“An individual who has the right to receive payment in respect of the use of any part of the site by any other who is an operator occupying telecommunications apparatus, or would have such a right if any such part were so used”

This means that the telecom site provider or operator who receives the site share payments, or would be entitled to receive the payments, will be the ratepayer for the whole telecommunication hereditament.

Site Sharing is achieved by:

a.Traditional methods where each of the operators attach their own equipment e.g. cabling etc to the structure and install their own cabin/cabinet; OR

b. Radio Access Network or RAN sharing is achieved by the installation of an additional electronic (non rateable) equipment.

5.5. Central List and Telecommunication Sites

Any telecommunication apparatus on the principal hereditament, other than the host’s which is occupied by Central Rating List “Designated Person” is “excepted apparatus”. Details of Central List Occupiers are set out in Rating Manual – Section 2: Part 2.

It should be noted that the “Designated Person” named in the regulations may not be the current “Designated Person” where the company has taken over or changed their trading name.

It should be noted that the presence of a central list site sharer must be recognised in determining the correct unit of assessment and appropriate number of operators/sharers if a HOST situation arises.

5.5.1 Designated Central List acting as Host

In the case of the Host of the mast being a central list occupier there are two possible situations;

1.The mast is a remote stand-alone site: In these circumstances the sharers are merged into the Host assessment and included in their central list assessment.

2.The mast is part of a larger non-telecoms hereditament: For example on land which holds a reservoir, gas hereditament or electricity sub station site. In these instances the Host regulations do not apply as the site is not used exclusively telecommunications. The sharers should be separately assessed where they have their own exclusive room, cabin or compound. If they share non-exclusive accommodation with the Central List Host they will be included in the Central List assessment as there is no separately identifiable hereditament as paramount control of the shared accommodation will be with the “designated occupier”.

The Central List host site forms part of the occupier’s central rating list assessment, provided that the site is not an excepted hereditament” as defined in Part III of the Central Rating List (England) Regulations SI 2000 No 535.

5.5.2 Designated Central List occupying as sharers

Where a central list designated person is a site sharer; the sharer is treated as “excepted apparatus” and therefore should not be included with the host hereditament. No account should be taken of Central List site sharers when considering the valuation of the host site.

This also applies whether or not;

1.Central List telecoms apparatus at the host site is capable of forming a separate hereditament.

2.A designated person shares a site with another designated person who is the host of the principal telecommunications hereditament.

In creating the assessment the guidance on address creation etc should be considered and the inclusion of the phrase “host” should be included as appropriate in the address.

A flowchart is attached in appendix 2

Central List assessments are dealt with by Telecoms Team as part of the National Specialist Unit . Any queries on the local list/ Central List boundary should initially be referred to the Unit’s Mast Coordinator.

5.6 Telecommunications Code

The Electronic Communications Code (‘the Code’) enables electronic communications network providers to construct electronic communications networks. The Code enables these providers to construct infrastructure on public land (streets), to take rights over private land, either with the agreement with the landowner or applying to the County Court or the Sheriff in Scotland. It also conveys certain immunities from the Town and Country Planning legislation in the form of Permitted Development.

In addition to providers of electronic communications networks the Code is also available to those who wish to construct conduits to be made available to network providers.

The Code is granted to network providers by the Office of Communications (‘OFCOM’) by a direction made following a public consultation and consideration of the responses to that consultation.

At the beginning of 2015 changes to the Code were anticipated, although the details of any proposed legislation are yet to be finalised.

The likely option is that the revised code will continue with land transactions being at market value but with two main disregards:

a.a landowner will not be permitted to receive a ransom rent; and

b.Sharing will be permitted as a right.

6. Survey Requirements

The type of survey requirements differ depending on the type of site being considered. Communication Masts are valued on the hybrid rental contractors’ method of valuation. Firstly this involves valuing the rateable plant and machinery and decapitilising at the appropriate statutory rate When surveying the site care needs to be taken in identifying and recording the plant and machinery. Finally add the site rent (note this comprises of base site rent and if appropriate a site share addition.

Smaller telecommunication sites by their nature require careful consideration; particularly where there is no dominant visible structure such as a mast. These smaller sites tend to be occupied by wireless broadband operators. It is probable that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) will deploy significant number of small 3G and 4G infrastructure as the industry moves towards providing the customer with uninterrupted connectivity.

6.1 Communication Stations and Premises

These include sites occupied by MNOs, radio and TV broadcasters and emergency services.

Caseworkers should note the following details during a site visit:

  • Relevant Site Reference – Operator/Host;

  • General Description of Mast, including height;

  • Dimensions of Site, where available:

  • Name of all operators present on site;

  • Details of construction, including size and composition of associated cabins/cabinets(measured to GIA)

  • Associated plant and machinery, which may include;

i.Details of associated roadways and car parking;

ii.Other surfaced areas – including areas of hard-core;

iii.Fencing to site - type and height

iv.Gates – single/double and type

v.Full extent of cabling and supporting cable tray

An Inspection Checklist (ICL) must be used.

Full guidance on what is included in the costings adopted can be found in the VOA cost guide. Additional guidance for caseworker can be found in the e-learning packages.

6.2 Traffic Monitoring Sites.

Survey details including height and nature of associated equipment.

6.3 Wireless Broadband Sites

These are difficult to identify due to the small size of the equipment. These types of sites are mainly located in or on Local Authority Street Furniture.

The Valuation Officer must determine whether the site uses 3G or 4G technology as well as WiFi because evidence shows that a site capable of supporting such mobile telephone technology is likely to command higher rental value than a pure WiFi site. There is a wide variety of fees being paid by operators and this knowledge is essential to understanding any particular level of value.

It is important that standard address protocols for telecommunication sites are followed (see para 7.2.1) and a note of the structure the equipment is attached to is recorded.

6.3.1 Identification of wireless broadband hereditaments

Wireless Broadband sites are usually installed on or in a building, street furniture or mast and use equipment similar to that of a wireless broadband router in the home; however they cover wider areas and are not restricted to access by one customer only.

The first task is to identify if there is a separately rateable wireless broadband hereditament and to identify the “host” assessment, where relevant.

a.Is the host property occupied or unoccupied?

b.Is the wireless broadband site subject to a separate lease or agreement?

c.Is the WiFi site solely used by the occupier of the host premises in connection with the use of the host premises. See Rating Section 3: Part 1: Part C Hereditament (Para 3) and should be assessed with the host premises?

d.Is the Wireless Broadband equipment sited on a host mast or communication station covered by Statutory Instrument 2421 and therefore should be assessed as a site sharer on the host mast?

Wireless Broadband sites will warrant separate assessments when occupied under a separate lease or agreement to the host property for a period of 12 months or more, other than :-

  • when it is a site share on a mast (SI2421 in England and SI3343 in Wales), and

  • when the Wireless Broadband service is considered to be part of the Host property occupation, such as a WiFi site in a coffee shop used by the customers of the coffee shop.

When a Wireless Broadband site is connected to other wireless sites or to customers by copper or fibre optic cabling, the details must be referred to the National Specialists’ Unit via the Unit Mast Coordinator. This is because the site(s) may form part of a larger telecommunications network hereditament dealt with by NSU’s Telecommunications Team.

Due to the different technologies and operators involved each Wireless Broadband site must be considered on its own merits.

6.3.2 Domestic Installations

Dwellings are subject to council tax and are not liable to non-domestic rating. Residents can connect to the broadband within their property with home wireless routers to improve their use of devices, including computer, tablets and mobile phones. Such installations are domestic and are not liable to be rated.

Any WiFi equipment used for domestic purposes installed externally or internally on a dwelling is considered part of the domestic hereditament. As a fixture of the house it will be reflected in the Council Tax Banding. This includes equipment installed on the actual dwelling where the householder is in control of the WiFi equipment and its power supply.

Care is needed when considering sites located on domestic dwellings. These sites should not be brought into Non-Domestic Rating List without seeking formal advice.

6.3.3 Wireless broadband cells used by the occupiers of shops, offices or other business premises

Where occupiers of shops or other businesses have paramount control of the WiFi installation and use it on their premises in connection with their business (e.g. as part of their retail or office business) the site of the installation will be reflected in the shop or office assessment. This is the case, for example, of WiFi units installed in coffee shops where the installation adds to the customer enjoyment of the “host” property. In many instances the value of the WiFi site will be deminimus relative to the value of the whole hereditament.

6.3.4 Considered situations

Queries must first be discussed with the relevant Unit Mast Coordinator, who will then consider if it is a matter to refer to the NSU Telecoms Team.

6.4 WiFi/Bluetooth Sites

These sites are mainly found in unoccupied premises, and consideration must be given to whether a site inspection is necessary.

Where it is considered necessary to confirm the details of a Wifi/Bluetooth hereditament through internal inspection of the site, it is recommended that the equipment in use be photographed and recorded on a plan. A checklist is provided at Appendix 3 and must be used to record the details of the site, equipment, the position of equipment and any accompanying display notices.

A copy of the Wifi/Bluetooth operators lease or agreement to occupy is helpful in establishing the facts of occupation.

If the site operator serves a proposal to bring the property into the list a copy of the lease or agreement to occupy must be requested in writing by the VOA before the case becomes an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

7. Survey Capture

See section 6 above.

7.1 Billing Authority References

All existing and new entries in the MAV application must contain the correct Billing Authority reference.

7.2 Communication Stations and Premises

7.2.1 Address

When reviewing an assessment the standard protocols for creating and maintaining an address should be followed. These have been agreed with the industry with the aim to improve the accuracy of the rating list and to assist in the auto matching of centrally supplied rental information.

All entries shown in the list a should have the following information within the address: a.NO/Name Operator name and the site ID

  • Operator Name – This should be adopted in all cases and where the site is a shared site this will be either: the name of the operator, NB: on a shared or HOST site the word HOST should be included. In creating the address the following is provided for guidance:

  • O2 – Note this is a letter not the number 0;

  • Hutchison - is sufficient not 3 or Hutchison 3G;

  • Vodafone – note the spelling, no “ph” in the name;

  • EE (Everything Everywhere); to replace T Mobile and Orange

  • T Mobile - see above

  • Orange - see above;

  • Arqiva. All National Grid Wireless (NGW) sites were acquired in 2009 and they should now be addressed accordingly.

  • Site Cell Ref – This may be numeric; alpha or a combination of both

  • Street Name;

  • Post Code – This should be the one recognised by the operator and supplied to the local Planning Authority on the rollout plans;
  • Rural Sites – It is suggested that the Ordnance Survey map reference is used in the “No Name” field. There is a .pdf attachment in Appendix C of the manual that explains the creation of OS reference numbers.

Examples of the address standardisation protocols are shown on this link address protocols.

7.2.2 - Survey Requirements

Caseworkers should record all relevant survey details as outlined in 6.1 above.

7.3 Traffic Monitoring Sites.

Although significantly less valuable we need to maintain accurate survey records. Information e.g. plant and machinery present on all sites should be recorded for each assessment.

7.4 Wireless Broadband Sites

If these sites form part of a wider network it is advised that a key site is identified and the site photographed and recorded in RSA. Subsequent sites in the network must then be referenced back to this key site.

7.5 WiFi/Bluetooth Sites

These small sites often change location within buildings. Care must be taken in large formerly multi let premises; care must be taken to correctly record and identify the location of small mobile cells within the appropriate parts of buildings and assessments.

8. Valuation Approach

8.1 Communication Stations and Premises

A hybrid valuation methodology comprising two parts. The rental value is applied to the Base Site. To this the rental value of the rateable plant and machinery is added. The latter is arrived at from the decapitalised cost of the improvements made by the operator following the acquisition of the site. This includes the mast; cabins/cabinets, cabling as well as any other relevant items e.g. fencing and gates.

The relevant List Year practice note for Scat 066 provides further details as to the valuation schemes.

8.2 Traffic Monitoring Sites

Adopt a single CG input reference which will calculate the relevant Rateable Value.

8.3 Wireless Broadband Sites

WiFi and Wireless Broadband sites are valued using the rentals method with an addition for the rateable plant and machinery not included in the rent. In many cases the limited rateable plant and machinery used on WiFi and Wireless Broadband sites will be deminimis in value whilst the value of the plant and machinery is considered to be reflected in the site rent.

Where the operator hangs equipment from a local authority street work, for example a lamppost, occupied under a concession agreement, the post’s structure is simply a site for communication equipment fully reflected in the payment made to the local authority. No further addition is needed.

The basis of valuation for any rateable plant and machinery will be based on the contractors’ method. Where the Wireless Broadband operator has constructed a tower, pole or mast structure the costings should follow those found in the Cost Guide.

Rents will reflect both the sites potential for coverage and the level of anticipated internet demand. Sites used to provide 3G or 4G mobile services may attract higher rents than those simply used to provide WiFi internet connection.

9. Valuation Support

All Scat 066 valuations must be carried out within the Non Bulk Server Mast Application, more commonly known as MAV application. Guidance in the use of the MAV application is found by clicking on the help button then selecting the instructions from the drop menu.

It is accepted that on large broadcast and mast farm sites the MAV application does not provide sufficient line entries for buildings and plant and machinery elements. Therefore these sites should have their buildings and plant and machinery valued and recorded on the Non Bulk Server using the generic Contractor’s Basis Spreadsheet. The summary details must then be recorded in MAV.

Appendix 1

Glossary

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is wireless technology found in most modern mobile phones and computers used to link devices to one another and the internet over short distances (up to 10 metres). Bluetooth networks use unlicensed short-range radio spectrum which only requires a low power supply. They are much slower than WiFi, with limited range and support fewer devices. Bluetooth generally sends data at less than 1 Mbps.

See Rating Manual Section 6: Part 3: 2017 Practice Note Section 860 - 3 WiFi and Bluetooth sites in buildings. The IEEE Standards (see below) for Bluetooth is 802.15.1

Broadband

The term ’broadband’ is widely used to describe a service that provides high speed internet access. Large amounts of data can be sent or received.

Broadband connections - Fixed

Data is sent via fibre and cables. (see cable and fibre below)

Broadband connections – Wireless

Data is sent by wireless radio spectrum from the wireless broadband base station to the device such as a mobile phone, tablet or lap top. The base station will connect to a fixed line network for Internet access through either; wireless relay, fixed fibre connection or through a copper connection such as an unbundled BT local loop.

Broadband speeds

Broadband is delivered in a number of ways and the type of technology used, distances and the number of users online determines the how fast information is sent and received. Information is measured in multiples of megabits.

Broadband speed is measured in megabits per second, stated as Mb or Mbps.

Convergence technology

The telecommunications industry is endeavouring to develop or combine technologies to enable improved communication services. The distinction between fixed and wireless broadband and mobile phone technologies will become increasingly blurred.

Cable and Fibre

Most of the residential and business population in England and Wales are able to access the internet through either:

IEEE Standards for Information Technology

IT standards are set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers through its Standards Association. The IEEE sets standards for a number of industries including telecommunications.

The designated standard indentifies the type of technology in use and is useful when trying to decide if the WiFi or WiMax equipment is being used for 3G or 4G.

Mobile technology

Mobile phone technology is used to access the internet through what is known as 4G (4th Generation) and at lower speeds through 3G (3rd Generation) technology. Signals are carried in the licensed spectrum which is managed and regulated by OFCOM. 4G and 3G sites can appear to be very similar to wireless broadband sites, but the suitability of sites to realise the potential of higher level technologies also serves to increase site value.

Any sites using mobile phone technologies to deliver internet access are dealt with in Rating Manual Section 6 part 3 - Section 860 - Radio and TV Transmitting/Receiving Stations and Masts (including Microwave Masts).

Radio Spectrum

This part of electromagnetic spectrum, defined by frequency, is used to send voice, video and data. Frequency is the number of complete cycles of electromagnetic wave in a second and is measured in units of Hertz (Hz).Different types of wireless technology operate at different frequencies through the radio spectrum.

The frequency used often provides an indication of the technology being used.

Next Generation Access

The VOA uses the term Next Generation Access (NGA) to describe a new or upgraded access network that will allow substantial improvements in broadband speeds and quality of service compared to yesterday’s services. Given technological convergence the term is used to describe access networks based on a number of technologies including cable, fibre, fixed wireless and mobile.

Radio Spectrum - Licensed

Certain frequencies are chosen by Government to send signals for specific users, such as the emergency services. Any frequency which has been selected cannot be used without the operator being given a licence. The most commonly known licensed operators are the mobile phone companies especially those who use 3G and 4G technology.

Radio Spectrum - Unlicensed

Parts of the spectrum that are unlicensed can be freely used but they have a short range. Commercial users include, for example, taxi firms but wireless broadband operators now use the unlicensed spectrum. WiMax usage extends into the licensed spectrum depending of the type of coverage needed.

Sites for WiFi in domestic property

Wireless personal area networks in domestic hereditaments are assessed to Council Tax.

Sites for WiFi used in connection with Non-domestic occupations

For example a café which provides WiFi connection for its customers.

Tip in this example the WiFi will fall to be assessed as an ancillary to the host occupation.

Wide Area Networks

Wide area networks link local area networks. The characteristics of WiFi and WiMax are such that they can be used together to create any combination of networks. However as WiFi units are not connected by physical link (contiguous) the site of each WiFi installation will require separate assessment.

WiFi

Wi-Fi is a trademarked term of the IEE however it is generally used to describe; short range wireless technologies that allow an over-the-air connection between a wireless device and a base station, or between two wireless devices. Basic WiFi has a range of over 20 metres indoors, and 300 meters outside. WiFi is often used in homes or small specific areas (Hotspots) such as train stations or restaurants.

These can be identified by being within the IEEE’s 802.11 series.

WiMax

Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. A wireless technology, similar to WiFi, but with a much longer range. WiMax is a high speed wireless alternative for internet access. And has a circa 10 kilometre range. When associated with a base station (mast) it can cover large areas and is the preferred technology when operators are setting up remote “Fixed” wide-area networks.

Some WiMax sites send information on the licensed spectrum and are used by Mobile Phone Operators for either 3G use or 4G. These sites must be valued in line with Rating Manual 5 Section 860 2017 Practice Note Radio and TV Transmitting/Receiving Stations and Masts (including Microwave Masts) These sites will have IEEE standards between of 802.16 e (3G) or IEEE standard of 802.16m (4G).

Wireless broadband

The data is sent through the air using radio waves. Providers use specific frequencies of the radio spectrum to send their signals.

Wireless technology

Wireless sites operate across the unlicensed and licensed spectrum using various wireless technologies including Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMAX, Mobile and broadcast radio/TV. Wireless broadband and mobile technology allows devices to inter-connect and communicate with each other and the internet via broadband. The speeds at which an end user can down load and upload information are measured in Megabits per second (Mbps).

Appendix 2

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Inspection Check List

Practice note 1: 2017: Telecommunication masts

1. Market Appraisal

1.1 Consolidation

The Telecoms market at the AVD and before has been undergoing change with companies entering into collaborations leading to a general convergence of the Telecom companies and the products that they are able to offer.

In 2008 T Mobile and Hutchison Whampoa (otherwise known as 3 (Hutchison 3G)) created a 50:50 joint venture called Mobile Broadband Network Limited. MBNL was set up to allow the sharing of infrastructure that would provide savings in both Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) as well as Operational Expenditure (OPEX). Their aim was to be achieve these costs by sharing sites through RAN sharing methodology. In contrast to the traditional method of sharing, where each company installs it own equipment (cabling cabins etc) RAN or radio access network sharing is achieved through electronic means - see glossary.

In locations where T Mobile and 3 both previously existed, the direct consequence of this joint venture was for Hutchison or “3” sites to be decommissioned, with the transmission being moved to the nearby T Mobile site.

In late 2009 initial discussions between Telefonica UK Ltd and Vodafone commenced which led to the establishment of Cornerstone.

Cornerstone’s model was fundamentally different to MBNL. Unlike MBNL who share sites and operate through one set of infrastructure, it is understood that CTIL initially provided an estate management function for the two Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) before developing a longer term operational network plan/structure.

Subsequently the relationship was strengthened with the creation and incorporation of the company now known as Cornerstone Telecommunication Infrastructure Limited in 2012. CTIL commenced the delivery of a revised network of masts in 2014/2015 with the country now split geographically. Vodafone will now be the primary operator in the west of England and Wales; Telefonica UK Ltd known as O2 will be the primary operator on the eastern side of the country. Each will also occupy as sharers where they are not the primary operator.

In April 2010 France Telecom (Orange) and Deutsche Telekom (T Mobile) announced a formal merger of their UK operations and Everything Everywhere (EE) was born.

The reality is that this was a re-branding of T Mobile, their company number simply was transferred to the new company, with the assets of Orange being acquired.

All of the above events have occurred since the 2010 list AVD but importantly have done so well before the AVD for the 2017 list. It has been agreed that the rental evidence used to establish the proposed scheme of value for 2017 reflects the circumstances outlined above.

The market in Telecoms is forever changing; further mergers have been announced or known:

  • In November 2014 BT announced proposals to acquire either O2 or EE. Following discussions BT made an offer of £12.5 billion for EE, with the deal being announced in February 2015

  • In early March 2015 3 (Hutchison Whampoa) agreed to purchase O2 for £10.25 billion.

Although not yet completed it could reasonably be argued that they would be in the mind of the hypothetical landlord and tenant in reaching an agreement at the AVD. It certainly can be suggested that any actual evidence of market rents since this time would have been agreed in the knowledge of potential future changes.

Consolidation within the telecommunication market is leading to an increase in the sharing of sites and decommissioning of sites where two former competitors had sites neighbouring each other. However there is still demand for sites in areas where operators do not have a presence.

1.2 Changes to the Electronic Communication Code

Under pressure from the industry to reduce costs (site rents) and to provide easier access to enable them to fulfil the licence requirements, the government is preparing proposals to update the Electronic Communication code (The Code) and make some minor amendments to the planning regime.

At the time of publication it is still unknown what is being proposed.

However, with consultations commencing 2014 it could be reasonably argued that the hypothetical landlord and tenant would have been aware that changes to The Code were being proposed and would be in their minds in reaching an agreement on value at AVD.

2. Changes From The Last Practice Note

The changes are a consequence of company mergers and joint ventures, as outlined above. The main operators are currently:

a) Everything Everywhere previously T Mobile and Orange;

b) Hutchison 3G;

c) Vodafone; and

d) O2 (Telefonica UK Ltd)

Other mast providers include:

e) Airwave Solutions - provide mission critical closed network for the emergency services;

f) Arqiva - Provide sites for the broadcast of TV and Radio as well as infrastructure provision to the mobile companies;

g) Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG)

Whilst the mobile phone companies operate independently their network of mast sites are managed by:

Firstly - MBNL for EE and 3; and

Secondly - CTIL for Telefonica (O2) and Vodafone

Please note that although these “managing” companies acquire and project manage the site development they are not in rateable occupation.

2.1 Site Sharing

This is the term used where operators agree to co-locate on a single site/Mast. Traditionally this has resulted in the sharer adding their own equipment to an existing structure.

Technological advances means that sharing can be achieved by installation of additional electronic non rateable equipment. The term for this type of sharing is radio Access Network (RAN) sharing.

2.1.1 Greenfield Sites

Due to changes in the market highlighted in para 1.1 above the site rental now reflects the occupation of a site to be used by the “head tenant” to operate their “family of providers” through the site.

To reiterate changes brought about by network consolidation have been noted in the passing base site rents.

It is recognised that at both the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD) and potentially Compilation Date (CLD) not all greenfield sites will have been consolidated. However, in discussion with the operators representatives they were very clear that the rents paid in the period post Jan 2013 reflected the right of MBNL to operate any one of their joint venture companies network. This situation is now being replicated by CTIL for Vodafone and Telefonica UK Ltd (O2) under their MORAN (Multiple Operator RAN) project.

2.1.2 Payaway

The term Payaway is used by the telecoms industry to reflect the additional amount a landlord would expect in addition to the base rent. This has tended to be a percentage of the fees received by the head tenant from other users on the site. The percentage on Greenfield sites has declined as the telecoms market has matured.

The evidence suggests that where any of the head tenant’s extended family occupy part of the site there should be no Payaway, but may be sought where there are users unconnected to the head lessee.

There is evidence still to suggest an addition to the base rent (Payaway) is demanded and paid in respect of users unconnected to the head lessee.

Analysis of the evidence suggests that this should be £2,500 for sharers on a Greenfield sites both inside and outside the M25.

The qualification for an addition to be made the assessment is, where in addition to the HOST operator, the sharer: a.has their own rateable plant and machinery; and b.is not part of the host company

Where both these criteria are satisfied then a separate sharing addition should be added.

2.1.3 Site Rent - The Cap

This is the maximum site rental value that should be applied to the Hybrid valuation in calculating the overall rateable.

It is acknowledged that the market the landlord would not expect or receive infinite additional payments (Payaways). Therefore the CAP replicates the market in establishing a maximum that we apply for a given site. The CAP is based on the base rent plus an amount of Payaway assumed from the maximum number of site sharers that would likely to be present.

On the highest structures the CAP will be greater as the anticipated number of site sharers will be greater.

2.1.4 Sharers - Major and Minor

As outlined above the base site rent reflects the occupation of a head tenant. In those instances where they themselves do not transmit or broadcast then they are substituted by the immediate first operator (sub tenant).

If there are any further occupiers it is then necessary to consider if they are

(i) minor sharer

defined as any other occupier/operator who whilst occupying pays a rent of less than or equal to £5,000.

No site share addition will be made in these instances to reflect their presence on the site.

(ii) Major Sharers

All the major mobile phone companies are considered major sharers together with anyone who pays a rent above the £5,000 limit.

The addition of £2,500 is applicable and applied where appropriate given the rules set out above.

2.1.5 Sharing - Rooftop Sites

The basis for rooftops is completely different and so is the calculation to arrive at the addition made where sharing takes place.

Once the evidence has been considered a further paragraph may be added re the approach to caseworkers should take where rental evidence exists/doesn’t exist.

2.2 Impact of Changes Post 2010

Potential changes to “the code” being proposed at the AVD as well as the joint ventures outlined in 2.0 above provided doubts that there would be sufficient information to retain the site share addition especially on sites up to 30 metres in height.

However, following discussions with the various parties it was confirmed that site share fees are still paid where a CTIL company shares with an MBNL company and vice versa.

In the circumstances it was agreed to retain the addition £2500 for site sharing (see below) on Greenfield sites. In a change from previous lists where the addition for within the M25 was greater than the remainder of the country the addition is now considered a national addition and applicable in all areas to Greenfield sites.

3. Ratepayer Discussions

Members of the CCT met with industry representatives in a series of meetings between 18 and 20 August 2015.

A number of matters were discussed, including:

  • Clarification on rental payments and the number of permitted operators;

  • Highways/Streetwork sites; and

  • Whether height was a real determining factor on value.

The results of these exchanges is shown in paragraph 4 below.

4. Valuation Scheme

4.1 National Scheme

There are two valuation zones: i.Outside M25; and ii.Inside M25

4.2 Greenfield Basis

4.2.1 Highway / Streetwork Sites

The definition was not agreed or finalised in the discussions with industry, however, the Valuation Office Agency view is:

“a non demised site of up to 15 metres in height located on the highway, where no rent is paid”

4.2.2 Size Height Bands

It was agreed to simplify the valuation approach and to reduce the “size” bands. The table below reflects outcome of the discussions, which the operators’ representatives intend to recommend to their clients for sites up to 30 metres in height.

All operators are working towards all sites being consolidated before 1 April 2017. There will still be instances where sites are occupied by a single operator. It is also becoming less common for sites to be “traditionally” shared, with the exception being on sites hosted by an infrastructure provider e.g Arqiva.

4.2.3 Single Operator Sites

From the discussions with the operators it is understood that at the compilation date there will be instances where sites will be occupied by a sole operator.

The basic site rent will apply with no allowance applicable.

4.2.4 Consolidated Sites

In a change from previous rating lists the base site rents, tabulated below, reflect the occupation of two operators on “a consolidated site”. Rental evidence and consultation with the industry indicates that that landlords have accepted this as being a standard condition.

A consolidated or RAN shared site will have two operators from either of the managing companies operating through a single set of equipment and the rents now being paid reflect these circumstances.

The rental evidence analysed assumes that the rent reflects the ability of the head tenant to operate their “family of providers” through the site.

Therefore where MBNL have developed a site it may have EE operating or EE and 3 and the basket of rental evidence reflects either of these scenarios.

4.2.5 Non Consolidated Sites

The analysed rents assume that the rent reflects the ability of the head tenant to operate their “family of providers” through a consolidated or RAN shared site.

There will still be instances where a site contains two providers from within the same management company. In these cases no addition should be made to the base rent.

4.3 Rental Basis - Tabulated

4.3.1 Outside M25 - Site Rentals
4.3.1.1 Greenfields
TYPE/DEFINITION HEIGHT BASE RENT CAP See section 2.1.3 above
Highways "A non demised site of up to 15m in height located on a highway where no rent is paid up tp 15m £5,250 N/A
All Monopoles and Towers not located on a highway Up to 30m £6,600 £19,101
All Monopoles and Towers between 30.01 and 45m £12,000 £27,001 (6 Major Sharers)
Towers Between 45.01 and 60m £16,500 £34,001 (7 Major sharers)
Towers Between 60.01m and 150m £20,000 £40,001
Guyed Masts Between 30.01 and 150.9m £17,000  
Towers and or Guyed Masts Over 151 m All valued individually  
Single Guyed Radiators All Heights £17,000 N/A
Paired Guyed Radiators All Heights £25,000  
Single & Paired Guyed Radiator with Monopole or Tower All Heights Value as a pair Guyed Radiator +25% of appropriate value attached to monopole/tower If single +50% of appropriate value attached to monopole/tower N/A (Not agreed under working party)
Traffic Master All Sites £140 all inc of P&M  
Site Share Addition / (Greenfield Payaway) - £2,500  
Minor Sharers A company paying a rent less than or equal to £5,000 will be considered a minor sharer and therefore no valuation addition made for them being present on a site.

Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts)

LONDON CENTRAL AND WESTMINSTER AREA Value Location
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) Category 1 £6,000 Main Line Stations Termini and Shopping Centres
  Category 2 £3,250 Postal Districts W1 and WC2
  Category 3 £3,000 Postal Districts EC1,N1,N6,N7,NW1,NW3,NW5 NW6,NW8,SW1,SW3,SW5,SW7 SW10,W2,W8,W9,W10,W11,W14 WC1
  Category 4 £2,750 Postal Districts NW10,SW6,W6,W12
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A
LONDON CENTRAL -CITY AREA ONLY Value Location
  Category 1 Valued separately, supported by individual rents.
  Category 2 £3,250 (City) Postal Districts EC1,EC2,EC3,EC4
  Category 3 £3,000 (City Fringes) Postal Districts E1, E2,N1,N14, remainder of E14
  Category 4 £2,750 (Remainder) Postal Districts E3,E5,E8,E9,N5,N7,N16,N19
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A
LONDON SOUTH AND NORTH AREAS OUTSIDE OF CITY AND CENTRAL AREAS (Former London South and North Groups)
  Value at ALL Locations
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) £2,750
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A
4.3.2.2 Rooftop Sites Inside M25

Reserved

Note these figure include rateable P&M unless the rateable equipment is similar to that found at mobile phone sites (such as towers or cabinets).

Appendix 1

EXAMPLES

The following scenarios are to assist the understanding of the above guidance note. They are illustrative only and in no way meant to be exhaustive as the individual circumstances of particular sites will need obtained.

Single Operator Site (Para 4.2.3)

Everything Everywhere (EE) is the single operator

Base Rent = £5,000

Sharer addition = ZERO as None present

Total Site Rent = £5,000

2 Consolidated Sites (Para 4.2.4)

Site is managed by MBNL, EE and 3 occupy the site and share one set of equipment (RAN Share)

Base Rent = £5,000

Sharer addition = ZERO

tal Site Rent = £5,000

Non Consolidated “Shared Site” (Para 4.2.5)

Scenario 1

Where the site is managed by one of wither MBNL or CTIL and historically both there providers are in occupation and transmitting e.g MBNL and EE and 3 are on site and have their own set of equipment.

Base Rent = £5,000

Sharer addition = ZERO

tal Site Rent = £5,000 - See Notes below

Scenario 2

As scenario 1 above but with a further sharing by Airwave and O2 (Telefonica UK Ltd)

Plus Sharing

Base Rent = £5,000

Airwave + £2500

O2 + £2,500

tal Site Rent = £10,000

4 Infrastructure Provided Sites

Scenario 1

Site is managed by Arqiva but only EE occupy and transmit from the site

Base Rent = £5,000

Sharer addition = ZERO No site sharing occurring

Total Site Rent = £5,000

NB: This is the same as 5.1 above

Scenario 2

Site is managed by Arqiva. Arqiva broadcast from the site and EE occupy and transmit as a sharer. They have their own rateable equipment

Plus Sharing

Base Rent = £5,000

EE + £2,500

Total Site Rent = £7,500

Notes:

3 Scenario 1

At Compilation Date (CLD) there will be some sites that due to historic agreements will continue to be operated on as a Non Consolidated sites i.e. they will have their own equipment.

It is evident from the majority of the new lease agreements that the preference of MBNL and CTIL would be to have one set of equipment and to RAN share.

In rating the hypothetical tenancy is considered at the Material Date with the tenant coming fresh to the scene.

Therefore in comparison with the 5.2 how it can be justified that where these circumstances exist the tenant would agree to pay an additional £2,500.

NB: All the rateable P&M would be valued.

Practice note 3: 2017: Wifi / Bluetooth sites in buildings

1. Market Appraisal

Limited open market evidence exists.

Wifi/Bluetooth sites may be used in connection with a business conducted from the host property, such as a coffee shop. This is seen as an attraction to customers who can access the WiFi for free., Alternatively WiFi may be installed in vacant premises.

2. Changes From The Last Practice Note

These installations continue to be installed in both occupied and vacant buildings . However the duration of their presence within a fixed unit of accommodation varies according to the individual needs of both the operator and the landlord.

3. Ratepayer Discussions

No discussions with the industry as these types of WiFi/Bluetooth installations are generally installed at the request of Landlords whilst the host unit of accommodation is vacant.

4. Valuation Scheme

A site in an empty property will form a separate hereditament if it fulfils the criteria necessary to become a separately rateable hereditament. It is a common characteristic that sites are occupied for short, or transient, periods. When occupation exceeds 12 months the site becomes a separately rateable hereditament to the “host” property. The site is a new hereditament and should not be a split from the host hereditament.

The rateable value for the WiFi/Bluetooth hereditament is £100. This is irrespective of the number of pieces of WiFi/Bluetooth equipment within a single host property.

Practice note: 2010: Radio & TV transmitting/receiving stations & masts (including microwave masts)

1. Co-ordination Arrangements

This is a Group National Scheme Class. Responsibility for implementing the scheme as set out within this Practice Note lies with the Group, as does responsibility for ensuring effective co-ordination.

For further information see Rating Manual Section 6 Part 1: Co-ordination Practice Note 1: 2010 Co-ordination Revaluation

The R2010 Special Category Code 066 should be used and as a Group Class the appropriate suffix letter is G. The Primary Description Code is to be MT1 and a standard description of “Communication Station (and Premises)” applied as appropriate. This standard description is suitable for both green-field mast sites and aerial sites on rooftops or water towers etc.

A description of “Communication and Traffic Monitoring Station (and Premises)” should be used for Traffic Master, Serco and any similar traffic monitoring sites.

The Group Mast Co-ordinator should be used as the initial point of contact in the event of any complex issues arising. For matters of policy or urgent and unresolved issues, queries should be e-mailed to the Mast Advice inbox for advice from the Telecoms Team at CEO.

2.0 Introduction

This Class encompasses all strands of the Telecommunications and Broadcast Industry. The thee main areas are;

  • Mobile & Telecommunication operators

  • Emergency Services

  • T.V / Radio Signal Broadcasters

Each site can be considered as a “Communication Station (and Premises)” and should be valued in accordance with the instructions set out below.

From the commencement of the Communications Act 2003, the telecommunications and broadcast industry is regulated by Ofcom (Office of Communications) [Ofcom Homepage]

The telecommunications and broadcast industry continue to develop at a pace with the advent of digital TV, WiFi and WiMAX and increased use of 3G mobile services and mobile broadband.

2.1 Mobile Telecommunication Operators

Mobile Phone services were initially for the provision of mobile telephone “voice” communication. The industry rapidly developed from voice to include SMS (Short Message Service - text), 2G services and now provides additional 3G Multimedia services (MMS) such as “Photos”, “Video”, “E-mail”, and “Internet” through hand held sets/mobile phones and mobile connections through lap tops (Dongles). Data from Ofcom indicates that the number of 3G subscriptions grew by 60% during 2007 and by the end of 2007 17% of mobile users were using 3G compared to 11% a year previously.

There are five main cellular mobile phone network operators:

  • O2: The name of the company is MM02 but it is marketed as “O2”. O2 is currently owned by Telefonica S.A. of Spain. (O2 also own 50% of Tesco Mobile). O2 was previously a BT subsidiary and known as BT Cellnet and Cellnet.

  • Vodafone:

  • Orange: Currently owned by France Telecom

  • T-Mobile: T-Mobile is currently owned by Deutsche Telekom AG.T-Mobile evolved out of a former C&WC subsidiary operating as Mercury Personal Communications Ltd and Mercury One-2-One. Re-branded in 2002 as “One-2-One”.

  • 3: Or Hutchison 3G (H3G). 3 are now entirely owned by Hutchison Whampoa, previously being a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa, NTT DoCoMo and KPN Mobile.

There are a number of virtual mobile operators such as Virgin and Tesco Mobile, who do not have their own networks but use wholesale services over the existing operator’s networks.

Five 3G (Third Generation) Licences were auctioned in 2000 for £22.4 billion. A condition of the 3G licences was to provide 80% 3G-network coverage by 2007. By May 2008 Ofcom confirmed that all licences had complied with the target.

Micro Cells have been used to infill poor reception areas, particularly in Urban areas, leading to the prevalence of smaller slimmer “Street Work” type structures rather than the older conventional towers. In sensitive locations Cells are increasingly being disguised in a more sophisticated manner, such as behind fake facades/ chimneys, mock telegraph and flag poles, grain silos, realistic looking pine trees and lopped trees with no branches.

Details of the Planning policy can be found within the Communities and Local Government Web Site (Planning Policy Guidance 8) [Planning Policy Guidance 8: Telecommunications - Planning, building and the environment - Communities and Local Government] In normal circumstances Planning Permission is not required under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001, provided “prior approval” has been sought for mast of less than 15 metres height with cabins of less than 90 cubic metres in volume. There are exceptions in special areas, such as conservation areas, where full planning consent is required.

Some cell sites are little more than an aerial attached to a small box of electronic equipment affixed to either internal/external walls or on roofs of buildings. These are often referred to as “Pico Cells”. It should be noted that Pico Cells are considered to be sufficient occupations of land to form separate rateable hereditaments. Any requests for deletions must be referred to CEO via “Mast Advice” before taking any action.

For the last few years there have been suggestions that operators could integrate mobile network systems or “ RAN” (Radio Access Networks) by sharing infrastructure and aerials. Due to market developments and increasing costs this has now become more attractive to operators. In April 2008 MBNL (Mobile Broadband Network Limited) was formed as a joint venture company by T-Mobile and Hutchison 3 UK to combine their 3G access networks. Orange and Vodafone were also proposing a similar infrastructure sharing but this appears to have not been taken forward or implemented. As RAN is still in its pre-implementation stage, the impact of RAN on rental value or in changes to the drafting of new or existing leases has yet to be seen. CEO is carefully monitoring this situation and further advice will be issued on its effect on rent in due course.

2.2 Emergency Services Network

This network is a separate mobile radio network specifically designed for the emergency services and is provided by Airwave, originally set up by BT and operated by O2.

Airwave is owned by Guardian Digital Communications, a new company owned by Macquarie Investment Funds. Previously Airwaves was known as Airwave O2. Airwave must not be assumed to be reflected in part of any O2 occupation. Consequently Airwave and its clients should always have an identifiable value (if occupying as a sharer) within a host assessment.

The Airwave network provides voice and data solutions to a variety of emergency services and public safety organisations, such as; Police, Ambulance and Fire Authorities; sections of British Transport Police and Criminal Investigation and Detection teams of HMRC it functions by utilising as system known as TETRA, which uses relatively low radio frequency (400MHz) and therefore the range from each site is greater than standard mobile operators sites (hence its attractiveness for emergency services).

2.3 Broadcast Sites (Radio and TV)

Traditionally these are the taller, larger and more established former BBC and IBA broadcasting (TV and Radio) sites. These sites were transferred in the1990’s into private ownership. In 1996 NTL acquired the IBA Transmission operation for approximately £235 millions. Crown Castle acquired the BBC and Home Service Sites for approximately 179 million pounds in 1997. National Grid (Transco) subsequently acquired Crown Castle in 2004 for approximately £1.1 bn. The following year NTL Broadcast was purchased by Australia’s Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group for £1.27 bn, the newly formed corporation was branded as Arqiva.

In March 2008 the UK Completion Commissioner approved the provisional merger of Arqiva and National Grid Wireless. On the 1 September 2008 the Completion Commission concluded that the integration of the two organisations could begin. The two estates are currently operating independently to each other.

The Broadcast sector is seeing a rapid “transformation” from Analogue to Digital broadcasting. With many of the larger sites undergoing re-engineering works to accommodate the new IT. The switch over is planned to be fully completed by 2012. The timetable and Regional Maps are provided in the Appendices (Appendix A1 and A 2).

As a consequence, many of these sites will be undergoing a series of MCCs [RM [Material Change of Circumstances]9#)]. Accordingly Groups should monitor these sites and issue FOR 6065 (requesting details of Building Costs where appropriate) accompanied by a covering letter. Further advice can be obtained via “Mast Advice”.

In the event of a request for allowances due to the re-engineering works, a full internal inspection should be carried out. Detailed site inspection notes/plans and photographs must be clearly dated and retained. Superfluity allowances must be justified with an internal inspection of the relevant building or structure. Where a second mast is built and the aerials are transferred over a period of time with the intention of demolishing the first mast, it is acceptable to include the cost of the new mast only in the valuation. There must be a genuine intention to remove the first mast and this should be obtained in writing from the operator.

3. Over View of Market

i) Mobile Telephony

Information from Ofcom’s report “The Communications Market 2008” published on 14 August 2008 as at end of 2007:

74 million mobile connections serving a population of 60 million*·

Total UK mobile retail revenues £15.1bn*·

Total UK mobile connections increased by 48% in five years from 2002. *·

3G connections increased by 60% in 2007 to reach 12.5 million, amounting to 17% of all mobile connections.·

There were over 500k new mobile broadband connections (via USB modems or Dongles) in the 5 months from February 2008. The subscriber base is relatively low but it is growing fast.

59 billion text (SMS) messages were sent in 2007, up 28% from 2006.

O2 remained the largest network operator during 2007 with 20 million active subscriptions. Vodafone had the strongest subscription growth at 12%. *

In April 2007 Ofcom reduced the maximum time within which mobile phone operators are required to transfer a number from five to two days when users switch providers. *

Total mobile revenue across the four mobile operators declined by 1.4% in Q4 2007 compared to the previous quarter due to a fall in revenue and other charges. *

*Excludes data from H3G.

There is an increasing trend of the older analogue and 2G sites being upgraded to carry 3G equipment. Many of the original leases have reached renewal; particularly regarding those sites over 26 metres in height. It is believed that a significant number of lease renewals are still outstanding. However, whilst landlords are seeking to benefit from growth in the market, the operators are endeavouring to limit increases and implement deeds of variation to take into account the current cost cutting climate.

ii) Emergency Services Network

Following the migration onto the Airwave (TETRA) network, a number of emergency service providers are seeking to dispose of their freeholds (in many instances subject to long leases for the TETRA network). It is understood that these sites are being acquired by the other Telecoms Operators.

iii) Broadcast Sites (Radio and TV)

There is continued growth in Digital TV penetration, which has reached over 87% of the UK, primarily due to growth in the take up of digital terrestrial television. DAB or Digital Audio Broadcasting had expanded across providers both in private sector (Digital One) and public sector, namely the BBC; with respectively 133 and 105 transmitters. Although the sale of DAB digital radio sets passed the 8 Million mark in June 2008 it should be noted that 2008 also saw the closure of a number of purely digital broadcast radio stations.

In February 2007 BBC Radio and National Grid Wireless announced a trial of a new transmission technology to assess the practicality of digital radio services in the medium-wave bands. The trial, which will lasted for a year, was centred on Plymouth. This technology known as DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) was designed to be the successor to analogue short wave broadcasts. The results have been mixed and announcement is currently awaited.

4. IT Valuation Support

All Scat 066 valuations must be carried out within the 2010 Non Bulk Server Mast Application, more commonly known as MAV application. Guidance on the use of the MAV application is found by clicking on the help button then selecting the instructions from the drop menu. All mandatory fields in MAV must be completed.

It is accepted that on large broadcast and mast farm sites the MAV application does not provide sufficient line entries for the buildings and P & M elements. In the circumstances you are advised to use the generic Contractor’s Basis spreadsheet on the non-bulk server for the detailed valuation. However, the summary details must be recorded on the MAV application, as this is where all Summary Valuations are generated.

5. Unit of Assessment

The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (England) Regulations 2000, (SI 2000 No. 2421) came into effect on 1 October 2000 with the aim of allowing the aggregation of all site sharers into a single hereditament, with the principal site operator or “host” being responsible for rates. Telecommunications apparatus of Central Rating List occupiers, who are not the host, is treated as “excepted apparatus” and excluded from the aggregation. It should be noted that the existence of central list site sharers will qualify the site as a shared site under SI 2421 and the Host should be assessed as in rateable occupation even though no value should be added to the Host valuation for central list sharers. (See section 7 below for more details on Central List).

The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (Wales) Regulations 2000, (SI 2000 No. 3383) came into effect from a later date on 1 April 2001 in respect of the 2000 local rating lists in Wales and although worded slightly differently, it mirrors the English regulations.

Both the English and Welsh Host regulations will apply for the 2010 rating lists. The Host regulations will only apply to shared sites and not to sites occupied by a single operator, even if the landlord is a host site provider.

A single operator site should be assessed to that operator not to the landlord. This approach should be followed even if the landlord is a site provider such as Arqiva or NGW, providing they do not broadcast or transmit from the site themselves. If subsequently a sharer moves onto the site or the landlord/host begins broadcasting or transmitting himself, the status changes to a shared site, the Host regulations will now apply and the site provider becomes the rateable occupier of the shared site.

These regulations are not intended to make a land owner or landlord, who is not in the telecoms business, responsible for the rates liability where he is in occupation of land, buildings or structures for purposes other than telecommunications. An example might be a Hospital, School, Water Tower or a farmer’s field, on which space is let to a telecommunications operator or telecommunications site provider. The regulations achieve this by: a. Specifically applying to a “telecommunications hereditament”, which is defined as a site forming a hereditament occupied exclusively by telecommunications apparatus of either a single operator or more than one operator and b. Not applying the aggregation where the telecommunications hereditament is on or forms part of a structure occupied by the host for any purpose other than the provision of or operation of a site for telecommunications apparatus.

The exclusive test disregards the presence of ancillary accommodation used for the normal operation of a telecoms site, which may correctly form part of the principal telecoms hereditament. It should also be noted that an exclusive telecommunications hereditament means a broadcast or mobile (wireless telegraphy) telecommunications hereditament, not a BT fixed line telephone exchange, which should, if a rooftop installation, be treated as any other building roof top assessment as set out in paragraph below.

In the case of, for example, a water tower occupied by Water Company, which lets space on the water tower under separate agreements to one or more mobile phone operators, the water tower is the Principal hereditament but is not occupied exclusively by telecommunications apparatus and is not a broadcast or mobile telecommunications hereditament.

In these circumstances, the provisions of SI2421 are not satisfied and each mobile phone operator will have a separately rateable telecommunication hereditament as before. The same would apply to the roof of a building where each operator has a separate agreement with a building owner and there is no Principal telecommunications hereditament. However, if the building owner lets the entire rooftop to a telecommunications site provider and the site provider sublets that area to individual operators as site shares, then the site provider will occupy a Principal telecommunications hereditament and all the site sharers will be aggregated into the site provider’s host telecommunications hereditament. It must be remembered that there must be more than one operator sharing the site for a HOST assessment to be created.

On a shared site, it is important in the first instance to identify the “principal telecommunications hereditament” and the host or main operator who occupies the principal telecommunications hereditament, as they will be the rateable occupier of the whole telecom site, including the site sharers. A HOST is defined as – “individual who has the right to receive payment in respect of the use of any part of the site by any other who is an operator occupying telecommunications apparatus, or would have such a right if any such part were so used”. Basically this means that the telecom site provider or operator who receives the site share payments, or who would be entitled to receive the payments, will be the ratepayer for the whole telecoms hereditament.

The next stage is to ascertain whether any telecommunication apparatus on the principal hereditament, other than the host’s, is occupied by a Central Rating List “Designated Person” and is therefore “excepted apparatus”.

The Central List site sharers will need to be excluded from the aggregation to the host hereditament under the provisions of the regulations, as they are deemed reflected in the relevant central list hereditaments. No account should be taken of the Central List site sharers when considering the valuation of the host site. This principle should be applied irrespective of whether or not the Central List telecoms apparatus at the host site is capable of forming a separate hereditament from the host. A “flowchart” can be accessed in Appendix A to assist in the determination of the correct Unit of Assessment.

If there is any doubt as to the correct unit of assessment or interpretation of the regulations, advice should be sought from “Mast Advice”

6. Central Rating Lists

Details of central list occupiers are set out in Rating Manual - Section 2 Part 2. It should be noted that the “Designated Person” named in the regulations may not be the current “Designated Person” where the company has been taken over or changed their trading name. For example, “Racal Telecommunications Ltd” are named in SI 2000 No. 525 but were purchased by “Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications Ltd” who became the new “Designated Person” from January 2000.

In the case of the Host of the mast being a central list occupier there are two possible situations:

  1. mast is a remote stand-alone site: In these circumstances the sharers are merged into the Host assessment and included in their central list assessment. An example would be a Transco mast used for operational purposes and exclusively for the purposes’ of telecommunications. SI2421 would apply and all sharers would be included in the Transco Central List assessment.

  2. mast is part of a larger non-telecoms hereditament: For example; the corner of a reservoir, gas hereditament or electrical sub station site. In these circumstances the Host regulations do not apply, as the site is not exclusively telecommunications. The sharers should be separately assessed if they have their own exclusive room or cabin. If they share non-exclusive accommodation with the central list host they are included in the central list assessment as there will be no separately identifiable hereditament.

CEO Telecommunications Team and the Utilities Rating Team (URT) deal with central list assessments. All queries on the local list/ central list boundary should be referred to CEO via the “Mast Advice” inbox under the heading Central/Local List.

The Central List host site will form part of the occupier’s central rating list assessment, provided that the site is not an “excepted hereditament” as defined in Part III of the Central Rating Lists (England) Regulations 2000, SI 2000 No. 525.

Where a central list designated person is a site sharer, the sharer is treated as “excepted apparatus” and therefore should not be included with the host hereditament. This also applies to a designated person who shares a site with another designated person who is the host of the principal telecommunications hereditament. However, the presence of central list site sharer will be used in determining if the site is a shared site or a single operator site when identifying if there is a Host situation.

Details of any separately assessed site sharers to be merged into a central rating list host hereditament, including non-central list site sharers, and details of any excepted apparatus in respect of any host site, including non-central list host sites, should be sent to “Mast Advice”.

7. Identification of Sites

7.1 Address Standardisation Protocols

When bringing in new assessments the address standardisation protocols should be followed. These protocols have been agreed with the industry to improve the accuracy of the rating list and to assist in data integrity issues i.e. auto matching centrally supplied rental information.

All entries shown in the list a should have the following information within the address:

Site Cell Ref – This is combination of alpha; numeric or both depending on operator; • Operator Name – This will be either the name of the operator on a single operator site or the Host on a shared site. In creating the address the following is provided for guidance: • O2 – Note this is a letter not the number 0; • Hutchison - is sufficient not 3 or Hutchison 3G; • Vodafone – note the spelling, no “ph” in the name; • T-Mobile; • Orange; • Arqiva; • NGW – This is an acceptable abbreviation for National Grid Wireless. • Street Name; • Post Code – This should be the one recognised by the operator and supplied to the local Planning Authority on the rollout plans; • Rural Sites – It is suggested that the Ordnance Survey map reference is used in the “No Name” field. There is a .pdf attachment in Appendix C of the manual that explains the creation of OS reference numbers.

Examples of the address standardisation protocols are shown on this link address protocols

7.3 Billing Authority References

All existing and new entries in the MAV application should contain the correct Billing Authority reference. It is necessary for the BA reference number to be inputted in order for any record within MAV to be saved. Prior to commencing any assessment casework with MAV a new BA reference number must be obtained from the BA. It is vital that the BA reference number is correct on all entries in MAV and it is of paramount importance that those flagged with a CLA (Current Live Assessment) have the appropriate reference number as this will be used in the auto matching centrally supplied rental information.

8.0 Information required prior to bringing in a SCAT 066 assessment into the list or making an amendment, including requests for deletions.

Care needs to be taken to ascertain the facts at the material date. If in any doubt the caseworker should contact the operator/agent (followed up in writing) to confirm the following facts:

a. Date first Occupied

b. Date when capable of Beneficial Occupation

c. Date when sharers went on to site (This is an MCC in its own right)

d. Rental information if NOT ALREADY PROVIDED

In cases where requests for deletions are received these should be confirmed with a site inspection and photos taken prior to the assessment being deleted if appropriate. In instances where it is apparent the site is still operational or capable of beneficial occupation, the agent/appellant must be contacted at the earliest date and requested to clarify the grounds of his request/proposal. Walking away or switching off a site is insufficient to justify a deletion.

8.1 Available Rental Information

As at March 2008 the following operators provided an electronic rent return;

  • Airwaves

  • O2

  • T-Mobile

  • NGW

  • Arqiva

  • Vodafone

  • HG3

  • Orange

These returns are contained within the P Drive at

A number of Operators have also included returns on significant numbers of un-assessed sites and all operators have included sites on which they are sharers.

Where possible this data has been automatically entered into the MAV application however there may be instances where the data has not been recorded due to data matching problems. It should be noted that where a match has been possible, the lease/licence details relate to the host and not the sharers. In instances where caseworkers believe the site is shared (such as roof top sites) the sharers electronic returns should be examined also to glean details such as site payments and dates of occupation. In the case of missing rental data on MAV, if a manual match has been made with the electronic return, the lease details should be entered on MAV manually.

8.2 Issue of FOR VO6050 “Mast” Rent Returns

No Forms of Return (FOR) VO 6050’s are to be issued to Arqiva, National Grid Wireless (NGW) O2, Orange, Vodafone, 3 (Hutchison 3G) or T-Mobile in connection with the 2010 Revaluation without checking for the sites presence on the Electronic Rental Data as described in 8.1 above. If the site is not listed in the electronic return, a VO6050 can be issued. VO6050’s should not be sent for any “Streetwork” sites. There is a presumption against the issue of individual FOR’s except for special cases and for occupiers other than those listed above.

It has been agreed centrally with the operators who have provided electronic returns to request an updated return for new sites on an annual basis. A schedule of new sites should be collated by the Group Mast coordinator and returned to the Telecoms Team via Mast Advice (per individual operator) on a 3 monthly basis. The Telecoms Team will then forward the request on to the individual operators and monitor replies. If information is not returned within a reasonable period of time of 56 days you will be advised to issue individual rent returns (VO6050).

8.3 Issue of FOR VO 6065 “Building Cost “ Rent Returns

It is the aim to agree the majority of the cost relating to SCAT 066 prior to the publication of the 2010 rating list. However it is accepted that the Cost Guide will be unable to cover the more unusual or larger types of mast structures. Typical unusual sites will be “Tree Masts”, “Concealed Masts” and masts built on flood plains “Raised Platform Structures” for example. In instances where these occur, Groups are instructed to issue a VO 6065 and request full costing on any new structures.

Groups are requested to notify the Telecoms Team via “Mast Advice” of any unusual types of structures and any new masts or towers constructed since 2007.

9. Inputting of Rental Data

9.1 Recording of Electronic Rental Data

Where data matching has been possible, the returned (March 2008) Electronic Rental Data has been inputted on to MAV by MSG. This information is shown as being the latest FOR and will be displayed on the summary export sheets (where selected).

9.2 Inputting of subsequent rental data

It is the responsibility of Groups to input any data received either by formal FOR’s or hearsay evidence into the MAV application in a timely manner. FORs should be recorded on RSA on day of receipt and details inputted within 3 working days; likewise rental data should be inputted into MAV within 3 working days of receipt. It is important that where a FOR has been returned, RSA is noted that full details can be found in the MAV application. Guidance on in putting of data can be found in Appendix D

10. Recording Occupiers of Telecommunication Stations and Premises

The Telecommunications Industry is undergoing significant changes and it is important that all MCCs are accurately recorded on MAV. This not only relates to the Unit of Assessment and the Host but also sharers details.

10.1 Minor sharers

It is important to differentiate between Major and Minor Sharers, as only Major sharers will be subject to an additional rental value. It has been agreed with the industry for the 2010 list that as a general rule of thumb, a Minor Sharer will be any NON MOBILEPHONE/TELECOMS occupier who pays an annual site share payment of less than £3500 to the host at the AVD. Regard should be given to the type of site sharer and not just to the site sharer payment cut off. A taxi firm would normally be regarded as a minor site sharer but a telecom or emergency services company would not.

Details of Minor Sharers should be recorded in the Valuation Notes section within MAV. Advice on minor/major site sharers can be obtained through “Mast Advice”.

10.2 Major Sharers

Major sharers details should be recorded within MAV as set out in Appendix F

10.3 Reciprocity

Most of the old BBC and IBA broadcast sites are either freehold or occupied under old lease agreements. The old agreements allowed the two Broadcast Operators, the BBC and ITV to broadcast from each other’s sites for no extra rent or site sharing payments, save for running costs. It is believed that under the reciprocal agreement, the BBC and IBA did not charge each other site share payments. It is understood only to have applied to the following public sector channels BBC1, BBC 2, S4C and only one private channel ITV 1. This “Reciprocity” agreement was put on a more formal basis in 1991. However, further research is required on the effect of the “Reciprocity agreement” on open market rental value as at the AVD.

All other terrestrial TV channels and commercial radio stations should be treated as individual major site sharers.

11. 2010 Mast Working Party

The Mast Working Party (MWP) was initially created in May 1998 for the 2000 rating list and consisted of representatives of the VOA, the industry and their advisors. The MWP reconvened for the 2005 list to agree costs and a National Scheme for masts in excess of 26 metres height.

For 2010, the MWP has met with the intention of producing and pre-agreeing a National Scheme for all Telecommunication Stations and Premises, save for Roof Top sites outside the M25, before the 2010 compilation date. The VOA has discussed its proposals with the industry and their rating advisors.

The Valuation methodology from 2005 remains consistent for 2010 and the valuation guidance is set out below.

12. Valuation Guidance

The valuation methodology can be split into three components:

a. Buildings & Rateable Plant and Machinery;

b. Site Base rent; and

c. Site sharing – Payaway Rent.

The method of valuation is primarily a rental basis for the site with a contractor’s basis addition to reflect the added value of site development, (buildings, rateable plant and machinery) which are not included in the site rent. The rental value of the site is enhanced by the presence of site sharers. Sometimes, particularly on older leases, site sharers are already reflected in the main site rent, or more commonly there is an additional rental charge for each sharer, aerial or dish paid to the landlord, this is known as the “Payaway”. This will depend on the terms of the actual agreement. Payaways are usually based on a percentage of the site share payment made by the equipment operator to the Host site operator, typically 25 %- 35% on a Greenfield site but can exceed 60% on Rooftop Sites or they are on a fixed amount for each aerial or dish based on a rate card. Payaways should not be confused with the site share payment made by the operator to the Host, as these payments are considered not to be directly rents. Site share payments often include service and management fees for example.

There are basically three types of mast occupier;

Type 1: Single operator sites where the occupier broadcasts or transmits telecommunication signals as part of his own business or for his own purposes with no site sharers;

Type 2: A site provider who is in the business of developing a telecommunications site and letting space to other operators and site sharers as his main business but who does not broadcast or transmit signals for his own purposes;

Type 3: A type 1 occupier who is also a site provider, or type 2 occupier and transmits signals for his own purposes as well as attracting site sharers onto his telecommunications site.

The distinction between type 2 and type 3 should be reflected in the respective valuations: a type 3 occupied site has a more intensive use with the valuation reflecting the occupier’s own use as well as that of additional site sharer’s. In comparison, a type 2-site operator does not benefit from his own equipment on the site, only from attracting other operators as sharers. This distinction can be reflected by the adjustment of the site rent of a type 2 occupied site downwards where the evidence supports this, if the rental evidence has been taken from a type 3 occupied site.

It is suggested that in the case of a type 2 site, the first major equipment occupier or site sharer is reflected in the base site rent and additions are only made for subsequent sharers.

There will be no site share value in a type 1 occupied site, and the site rent should reflect this where appropriate and be taken from similarly occupied sites.

In some cases the replacement of the existing mast with a more substantial structure would be required to facilitate site sharing and may lead to re-negotiation of the rental agreement.

13. Buildings & Rateable Plant and Machinery or Contractor’s element

This is the contractor’s basis addition to the rent of the undeveloped site. Further guidance on Contractors Basis valuations can be found in RM The Contractor’s Basis of Valuation. In all instances the site should be valued according to the Physical details present at the Material Date, hence the importance to record site details, the date and notes and photographs accurately as sites do change. It is recommended that an OS plan be retained on file, annotated to record details and to include safe access routes for sites in rural areas.

The contractor’s addition is based upon the cost of construction, decapitalised at the statutory decapitalisation rate, which for the 2010 list is *tba% It includes buildings, cabins, cabinets etc, the masts structure itself, rateable cabling, any stand-by generator sets, back-up batteries and associated equipment, electrical distribution boards (larger sites), fencing, hard standings which are not included within other costs (masts and cabins are normally costed to include the concrete bases), gates, cable trays and other supporting steelwork, etc. Any queries as to the rateability of items of P& M should be e-mailed to “Mast advice”. (More detailed guidance is contained in RM Plant & Machinery.

Air conditioning plant found at telecommunications sites is normally only rateable when found in offices at the larger sites. Elsewhere, its primary function is the cooling of non-rateable items of plant & machinery, such as switching and transmission equipment. In such cases it will be non-rateable as process plant and machinery.

Rooftop installations will sometimes have equipment housed in a room within the building to which the antennae are attached by cables. It should be established if the internal equipment room is included in the rooftop site rent or otherwise. If adopting the actual roof top site rent, ensure that the rent does not already reflect the accommodation, if making an addition for equipment rooms, as this will be double counting.

Plans and details of rooftop installations should be requested from the operators as in most cases inspections will not be possible. For health and safety reasons, referencing of roof top sites should not be undertaken but photographs can be taken from a suitable, safe vantage point e.g. access doorway on roof.

The Plant and Machinery cost element for a typical single operator roof top site should be taken for 2010 as £30,000 ERC per operator (typically three corner arrays (or 5.0 Metre Stub Mast). This includes cabinets and cabling) however Cabins should be added separately. Where rooms are occupied an addition to the “base” rooftop site rent will be required, if the room is not already reflected in the rent.

Caseworkers will not be required to enter individual costs on Reval 2010 cases generated from the 2005 MAV application. The 2010 MAV application includes a comprehensive look up table, which also interpolates cost where necessary. The look up table will automatically enter the new 2010 cost details, providing the correct 2005 list code was entered on the Current Live Assessment (CLA) in MAV on the 2005 list. Exceptional items will require codes/costs to be entered manually. New 2010 cases will require full 2010 cost guide references. As the 2010 codes have to be unique, the 2005 code will not always be the same code as the 2010 code. However, the look up table will convert any old codes to the new 2010 codes as appropriate. Any errors found should be sent to “Mast Advice”.

13.1 Allowances

Age and Obsolescence allowances must not be given automatically as of a right but should be considered on the merits and facts of each case. The individual circumstance must be examined, per Guidance Notes and Common Adjustments contained in the 2010 Cost Guide and the information set out below. As a rule of thumb, allowances on buildings and civils should be in line with the main CG.

It should be noted that any allowances applied for the 2005 list MAV valuations will not be automatically carried forward to the 2010 valuations. It is appropriate to consider if the allowance should be updated for the new AVD and notional dates established in the case of major refurbishments.

13.2 Obsolescence

Obsolescence will be more prevalent at older sites. Technology continues to advance at a pace resulting in smaller electronic components and lighter aerials and dishes. Any allowances for technical obsolescence should be judged against the technology that was widely available and in use at the AVD (2008). Claims that a modern replacement mast would be of a lighter or smaller design must be backed up by a full written report by a suitably qualified structural engineer and include evidence that the proposed modern replacement is actually being built in the locality at the AVD. A mere unsupported statement that a lighter structure would be adequate is insufficient proof that an allowance is justified. Some of the larger obsolete horn type aerials which can weigh up to two tonnes are often left in place but disconnected due to the high cost of removing them. The demand for site sharing and height of existing aerials should be taken into account when considering the modern equivalent. The Valuation Officer should be satisfied that a lesser modern construction is justified on the facts as appropriate.

At some sites an existing mast may become obsolete due to age or loading and a replacement is built adjacent to it. The aerials and dishes are then migrated, over time, onto the new mast with the intention of demolishing the old mast eventually. It is acceptable to consider an allowance on the old mast, providing it can be shown that the new mast has the structural capacity to accept all the aerials and dishes on the site without causing interference and the intention is to demolish the old mast and not to use it for additional site sharing capacity.

Smaller electronic components require less space within the buildings and cabins but again demand for space by site sharers or alternative storage use must be taken into account. Care must be taken with alleged obsolescence allowances, particularly as excess space is often used for storage purposes. If there is any dispute on excess space allowances, sometimes referred to as superfluity, then the site should be inspected and the actual area in use and not in use ascertained.

For the purposes of the 2010 rating list the following has been agreed:

Prefabricated Cabins – As a general rule of thumb, cabins found on mobile phone sites would require maximum area of 6.25 sq metres per operator. Caseworkers should note the actual size of the cabin during inspection and on the appropriate line within the valuation for future reference. This allowance should only be applied to single operator prefabricated cabins, similar to the Elliot cabins typically found on mobile sites and not to brick built cabins typically found on broadcast sites.

Where mobile operators share the cabin, the area required should be taken as the actual area, or (6.25 + 1.50) sq metres multiplied by the number of operators sharing the accommodation, whichever is the smaller. The +1.5 sq metres per operator, is to allow for the additional circulation space required over the standard 6.25 sq metres. This allowance does not apply at Broadcast sites, as the transmission equipment requires more space.

Brick/Stone Cabins – Typically these will be found on older mobile sites and sites used for broadcasting. Additionally they may be so constructed as part of the planning requirements – say in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Caseworkers should not apply the same test as outlined in a) above. Instead they should internally inspect the site and determine the level of used accommodation. An allowance equal to 50% of the vacant space should be applied to the valuation.

e.g. A brick built cabin 16 sq metres. From internal inspection it has been determined that 4 sq metres is occupied.

Accordingly 50% of the vacant space is 16sqm – 4sqm = 12sqm unoccupied

Allowance @ 50% = 6 sqm to be valued at full rate

  • 4 sqm in occupation

Total = 10 sqm at Full Rate

Therefore, it is suggested that within MAV, 10sqm are valued with the appropriate comment made in the remarks.

14. Base Site Rents

The following scales are based on January 2006 to March 2008 rents (where available), unless otherwise stated:

14.1 Outside M25 “Green Field Sites ”

Following discussions with the MWP it was agreed that the rents for Green Field sites should be analysed with the intention of producing a broad “National Valuation” scheme for areas Outside the M25. Rents were initially sifted and further refined to produce the following categories of typical Green Field sites: -

a. “Lampposts “ TYPE Sites - defined as poles from 8 Metres up to and including 12.1 Metres height.

b. All Monopoles and Towers - including Street Works sites and those with/without compounds from 12.2 Metres to 25.9 Metres height.

c. All Monopoles and Towers with compounds; 26 Metres to 35.9 Metres height

d. Guyed Masts and Towers with compounds; 36 Metres to 45.9 Metres height.

e. Guyed Masts and Towers with compounds; 46 Metres to 60.9 Metres height.

f. Guyed Masts and Towers with compounds; 61 Metres to 150.9 Metres height.

g. Guyed Masts and Towers with compounds; in excess of 151 Metres height.

h. Single Guyed Radiators all heights

i. Pair of Guyed Radiators all heights

j. Single and Paired Guyed Radiators with an additional structure (i.e. Pole/Tower) carrying sharers all heights.

k. Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings or Kiosks Including; simple flag pole types on sides of buildings.

l. TV/Radio Repeater “ Broadcast” Sites only with no sharers on Greenfield Sites up to 45 Metres. Sites not suitable for sharing with mobile operators

14.2 Within M25 “Green Field Sites ”

The following broad categorise have been agreed for certain types of sites within the M25, based on the sifting of rental evidence;

London South and London North Groups: -

1) Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings or Kiosks, including; simple flag pole types on sides of buildings.

2) TV/Radio Repeater “ Broadcast” Sites only with no sharers on Greenfield Sites up to 45 Metres. Sites not suitable for sharing with mobile operators.

**London Central former Westminster Group and City Group **

1) Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings or Kiosks, including; simple flag pole types on sides of buildings.

14.3 Roof Top Sites

It has been agreed with the MWP that Rooftop sites will be valued within four categories across the Network with GROUPS to produce “Broad Valuation” schemes in respect of Rooftop sites by utilising delineated bands of value.

14.3.1Agreed Definition of Delineated Bands of Value

“A delineated band of rental values is based on the basket of evidence typical as at the AVD and pertinent to the Rooftop on which the hereditament sits in terms of area/situation/topography. In cases of hereditaments where the rent passing has been indexed by RPI or is OLD OMV or indeed OMV fixed post AVD these will be considered and weighted having regard to: -

  • Rents passing in the immediate vicinity at AVD

  • Planning Constraints prevailing in the area

  • Market at Material Date.

14.3.2 Agreed Categories of Roof Top Sites
  • Type 1 - To be considered on a individual basis as they fall outside the delineated bands Of value.

  • Type 2 - Typically Prime and falls within a delineated band of value.

  • Type 3 - Typically Secondary and falls within a delineated band of value·

  • Type 4 - Typically Tertiary and falls within a delineated band of value.

This categorisation equally applies to Water Tower sites. Groups should categorise all Roof Top sites accordingly upon completion of 2010 analysis. It is the individual Groups (Outside M25) responsibility to produce their valuation schemes for Rooftops.

It should be borne in mind that: -

a. A comprehensive list of evidence will need to be produced and retained to support the scheme (RPI reviewed rents are not reliable).

b. A written scheme is to be produced and placed in the Group’s P Drive (appropriate folder) and within

a. The Revaluation Time Table and instructions must be complied with.

b. In instances of missing rental information, Groups must make reasonable assumptions and the instruction contained in Para 8.2 above must be followed.

15. Rental evidence

15.1 Overview

Each operator has supplied rental information, however in certain instances the information has not been comprehensive enough to produce detailed accurate analysis and this evidence has been weighted accordingly.

Available Rental evidence from new sites constructed between 1 January 2006 up to March 2008 has been considered to carry the most weight.

15.2 Green Field Sites Under 25.9 Metres Height

There were significant numbers (approximately 3,000) of sites below 25.9 Meters height, which provides a comprehensive over view of the Market between 2006 and 2007. It was noticeable that compared to rental schedules produced for the 2005 Lists, in the two years proceeding the AVD (2008) there are reduced numbers of new Green Field lettings. This supports the view of the Industry that the majority of the operators have an adequate numbers of existing Greenfield sites. Based on the evidence available, rental growth between the 2005 and 2010 lists AVD’s (2003 to 2008) appears to be limited.

It was evident there is a difference in rental values between the smaller “Lamppost” type masts less than 12.2 Metres Height and the remainder of sites under 25.9 Metres. It is accepted by the majority of the industry that this is as a consequence of height of the final structure and associated land take, not as a direct use of a specific cell type. The VOA’s analysis of Green Field site rents is based on mast height and not on Cell Types. Therefore for the 2010 list, Caseworkers are not to differentiate site rental between the classification of Macro and Micro Cells alone. From a detailed sample of sites less than 12.2 Metres in height, with Open Market Rents (OMV), the rents ranged from £1,750 to £3,000.

Having reviewed the available records it was inconclusive if there should be a differential in Base rental terms between sites with/ without a defined compounds and between Masts or Towers. Adopting a broad valuation approach it was agreed to include all available identifiable OMV rents of sites between 12.2 Metres Height and 25.9 Metres Height, including Macro and Micro cells. Within the sample of 186 rents there are annual rents ranging from £1,000 to £14,000; with averages for the various operators from £4,473 to £5,839.

15.3 Green Field Sites Over 26 Metres Height

Limited rental information exists for sites over 25.9 Metres in height, with the majority of sites held Freehold rather than rented. Within the size band 26 Metres to 35.9 Metres height there is demand from both Mobile Phone Operators and Broadcasters.

It is noticeable that over 26 Metres there are several Lease Renewals and Rent Reviews outstanding from 2006 onwards, additionally there have been no new lettings. Therefore the total sample of rents over 26 Metres is limited to 23 OMV rents. The majority of rents (12) relates to sites 26 Metres to 35.9 Metres Height which range from £5,000 to £15,000

A clear picture is difficult to formulate on these taller sites, as there remains the prominence of older style leases, which are fully inclusive of all shares, and these have had to be considered (see section on Payaways and Caps PN 16.0-17.0)

For sites between 36 Metres and 45.9 Metres height the sample size is 5 and the values range form £3,600 to £7,500. The sample size is reduced to 4 rents for sites 46 Metres to 60.9 Metres, with rents ranging from £3,000 to £32,000. The final sample size of 2 rents is available for sites 61 Metres to 150.9 Metres and range from £5,000 to £13,125. There is no current rental evidence within England on Wales on sites over 151 Metres height.

15.4 Guyed Radiators

These sites remain characterised by requiring relatively large acres of buffer land around the mast partly for safety reasons and also due to the splay of the stay anchor supports. The land is generally grazed. The sample size is very small and includes 3 rents for single Guyed Radiators (not limited to OMV) and range from £3,675 to a more recent agreement on a site adjacent to residential development at £13,000.

16.0 Site Sharing – Payaway Rent

A Payaway is the additional rent passed on to the landlord by the main site operator or Host in respect of site sharing by other operators. This is established practice in the calculation of rateable values on Telecommunication Stations and premises in England and Wales and follows market practice. However due to the variation in individual lease agreements rents may be expressed as being fully inclusive of sharers or only certain sharers are subject to a Payaway. It has been agreed with the MWP to analyse the evidence for 2010 to deliver an acceptable “broad valuation” of Green Field Payaways across the industry and not to differentiate for either Host Type of height of structure.

It has been accepted by the MWP that there is a difference in how Landlords perceive the value of Payaways and differentiate between Green Field and Roof Top Sites. For this reason there are different methodologies of value (analysis) and levels of value. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD THE GREEN FIELD SITE SHARE PAYAWAY BE ADOPTED AS BEING APPLICABLE TO ROOFTOP SITES.

16.1Green Field Site Share Payaway

Based on available evidence averages for Payaways (outside the M25) across the industry range from £1,635 to £2,555

16.2 Roof Top Site Share Payaway

As no new rental evidence is available at present a similar scheme to the 2005 list is to be followed based on 60% of the site share payment (outside the M25.) For methodology see Appendix E

17. CAPS of Greenfield Sites Base Values plus Site Share Payaways

The available rental information across the various size bands indicates that Caps should remain for the 2010 list outside of the M25 area. Consideration was made to those rents with fully inclusive rents and Base + Payaways. However, these inclusive agreements are becoming less common than the base rents + Payaway rents. The smaller the site the lower the Cap as sites is physically limited to the number of sharers that can be accommodated.

Please note that Caps do not apply on sites of more than one structure.

18. 2010 Valuation Scheme

On the evidence available the following scheme is proposed. Please click on following (appendix I & appendix J) In August 2008 a National Scheme for other sites has been put to the MWP for agreement but has not yet been confirmed as agreed.

19. Additional Information

Appendix have been attached which expand upon contents contained within the 2010 PN This Practice Note will be amended periodically to reflect developments in this class.

20. Enquiries

Any enquiries on this Practice Note should be directed to the Telecommunications Team, within CEO Rating Directorate. In the first instance this should be done in conjunction with the Group Mast Coordinator via email to “Mast Advice” using the subject box for the purpose of the query.

Practice note: 2010: Appendices: Radio & TV transmitting/receiving stations & masts (including microwave masts)

1. Appendix A

Summary: Unit of Assessment Guide post SI 2421 England (1 October 2000) & SI 3383 Wales (1 April 2001)

Flowchart for SI 2421 / 3383

Click here to view the Flowchart

Appendix B

Summary: Address Standardisation and Ordnance Survey Work Aid on creating OS Reference Numbers

Address Standardisation and Ordnance Survey reference numbers work aid

a. This appendix has links to assist caseworkers in the correct approach in creating addresses in accordance with the agencies revised Standardisation. As an additional aid a copy of the Ordnance Survey – how to create a reference is also attached for assistance.

b. Address Standardisation Use this link to access examples of the correct approach in creating address for this category of property.

c. Ordnance Survey – Reference Numbers This link will take you to a work aid designed to help you understand how an OS Reference Number is composed.

3. Appendix C

Summary: Information required for recording of Site Details

3.1 Mast Inspection Check List

3.2 Identification of Lamp Post Types and Street Work Type Poles Link to SCAT 066 Lamppost and Street Works identification Guide

3.3 Best Practice Guidance

3.4 Identification of Pico Cells. Pico Cells are often difficult to identify out on site due to their size and the tendency to be utilised within covered areas. Often they are concealed behind shop fascias or Petrol Filling Station Signs. It is important they are recorded, as Pico Cells correctly as there is a significant difference in rental values attributable under the 2010 scheme. It is suggested where sites have been identified solely by using Ofcom’s Site Finder that caseworkers have regard to individual the cell details. In the majority of instances where the antennae is shown as being under 3metres height, this would suggest that the cell is wall mounted rather than upon a Green Field or Rooftop Site. The Wattage output also provided guidance and in particular typical Pico Cells have an output between 10 dbw and 7.5 dbw. For the 2010 Revaluation the cost Guide Code applicable for all Pico Cells is 86PU01. The value of the Rateable P& M will be automatically calculated.

4. Appendix D

Summary: Action required upon receipt of FOR VO6050 Where VO 6050

FOR’s have been returned The Data Capture Team should immediately forward a scanned copy to the caseworker that requested its issue. Within 2 Days of receipt they should satisfy themselves as to the quality of information returned and inform the Data Capture Team that the FOR can be accepted as being complete. Data Capture will then record the details on RSA. The caseworker should record the details within the MAV application utilising input screen regardless of if the site is Freehold or Leasehold. In instances where the site is Freehold or Leasehold where sharers are present the Gross amount returned for the Site Share Payaway should be input in Part 14 .1 as follows:

  • Let or Sublet all or Part of the Property - Y

  • Number of Subletting - Total Number of Sharers

  • Total Annual Rent from Sub lettings - Total Gross amount of Site Share Payaway The remarks box is to marked Telecoms Site FOR type 6050 – Full details see entry on MAV application

It is essential that the date be then input into the Non Bulk Server Communication Masts application now known as MAV.

The data on the Returned VO6050 can be directly input into TAB 4 ~ FOR Data. The input boxes mirror the questions contained in the Telecommunication Masts and Stations Form of Return.

Telecommunication Masts and Stations Form of Return

Non Bulk Server Communications Mast Application (MAV) - Tab 4 - FOR Data

5. Appendix E

Summary: Worked Example of Shared Rooftop Site – Assumed Rooftop Type Category 2

Appendix E Image 1 - Worked Example of Shared Rooftop Site – Assumed Rooftop Type Category 2

Appendix E Image 2 - Worked Example of Shared Rooftop Site – Assumed Rooftop Type Category 2

6. Appendix F

Summary Worked example of Shared Green Field Site – Major and Minor Sharers

Appendix F Image 1 - Worked example of Shared Green Field Site – Major and Minor Sharers

Appendix F Image 2 - Worked example of Shared Green Field Site – Major and Minor Sharers

7. Appendix G

Summary – Digital Switch Over

7.1 Time Table for Digital Switch Over

Region Switchover happens in
Border 2008 - 09
West Country, Granada 2009
Wales 2009 - 10
West, STV North 2010 - 11
STV Central 2010 - 11
Central, Yorkshire, Anglia 2011
Meridian, London 2012
Tyne Tees, Ulster 2012

7.2 Digital Switch Over – Regional Map

BBC - Digital - Switchover

8. Appendix H

Summary: Correspondence address for T-Mobile and 3

Mast Contact Details 2010 List

9. Appendix I

Summary: 2010 Valuation Scheme SCAT 066

9.1 Green Fields Outside Of M25

TYPE HEIGHT BASE RENT CAP
Lamp Post 8m -12.1m £2,500 N/A
Lampposts, Monopoles and Towers INCLUDING Streetworks and those with and without compound 12.2m - 25.9m £4,500 N/A
All Monopoles and Towers WITH and WITHOUT compound 26m – 35.9m £5,500 £16,750 (5 Major sharers)
Towers/Guyed Masts 36m – 45.9m £7,000 £20,500 (6 Major sharers)
Towers/Guyed Masts 46m – 60.9m £8,750 £23,540 (7 Major sharers)
Towers/Guyed Masts 61m –150.9m £9,000 £27,000 (8 Major sharers)
Towers/Guyed Masts 151+ m All in £27,000
Single Guyed Radiators All Heights £7,500 N/A
Paired Guyed Radiators All Heights £11,250 (Not agreed under working party)
Single & Paired Guyed Radiator with Monopole or Tower All Heights Value as a pair Guyed Radiator +25% of appropriate value attached to monopole/tower If single +50% of appropriate value attached to monopole/tower N/A (Not agreed under working party)
Traffic Master All sites £140 all inclusive of P&M £140
Minor Sharer = any Non Mobile Occupier making payment to host at AVD of or equal to £3,500
GREENFIELD PAYAWAY £2,250
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) £2,250 N/A
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M £2,250 N/A

9.2 Summary 2010 Valuation Scheme SCAT 066

Rooftops Outside Of M25

TYPE/HEIGHT Roof Top sites these are categorized in terms of: -
A delineated band of rental values is based on the basket of evidence typical as at the AVD and pertinent to the Rooftop on which the herediament sits in terms of area/situation/topography. In cases of hereditaments where the rent passing has been RPI'd or is OLD OMV or indeed OMV fixed post AVD these will be considered and weighted having regard to Rents passing in the immediate vicinity at AVD Planning Constraints prevailing in the area Market at Material Date. Type 1 - To be valued on an individual basis as they fall outside the delineated bands of value Type 2 - Typically Prime and falls with in a Delineated band of rental Values Type 3 - Typically Secondary and falls with in a delineated band of rental Values Type 4 - Typically Tertiary and falls with in a delineated band of rental Values Bands of rental value are to be determined by individual Groups.
Rooftop payaway 60% of Base Rent per sharer Per individual Group Rooftop Scheme)

10. Appendix J

Summary 2010 Valuation Scheme SCAT 066

10.1 Green Fields In Side Of M25

TYPE HEIGHT BASE RENT CAP
Lamp Post Up to 12.1m £4,000 N/A
Lamp Posts and Light Duty Monopoles including streetworks without compound 12.2m - 25.9m £5,500 N/A
All Medium duty and Heavy duty Monopoles and Towers with and without compound 12.2m - 25.9m £7,000 N/A
All Monopoles and Towers with compound 26m –35.9m £10,000 N/A
Towers/Guyed Masts 36m – 45.9m £15,000 N/A
Towers/Guyed Masts 46m – 60.9m £20,000 N/A
Towers/Guyed Masts 61m –150.9m £25,000 N/A
Towers/Guyed Masts 151+ m To be valued on an individual basis
Single Guyed Radiators All Heights £17,000 N/A
Paired Guyed Radiators All Heights To be provided at later date
Single & Paired Guyed Radiator with Monopole or Tower All Heights To be provided at later date N/A
Minor Sharer = any Non Mobile Occupier making payment to host at AVD of or equal to £3,500
GREENFIELD PAYAWAY £2,500
London central Westminster area Value and location
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) Category 1 £6,000 Main Line Stations Termini and Shopping Centres
Category 2 £3,250 Postal Districts W1 and WC2
Category 3 £3,000 Postal Districts EC1,N1,N6,N7,NW1,NW3,NW5 NW6,NW8,SW1,SW3,SW5,SW7 SW10,W2,W8,W9,W10,W11,W14 WC1
Category 4 £2,750 Postal Districts NW10,SW6,W6,W12
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A
LONDON CENTRAL CITY AREA Value and Location
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) Category 1 Valued separately, supported by individual rents.
Category 2 £3,250 (City) Postal Districts EC1,EC2,EC3,EC4
Category 3 £3,000 (City Fringes) Postal Districts E1, E2,N1,N14, remainder of E14
Category 4 £2,750 (Remainder) Postal Districts E3,E5,E8,E9,N5,N7,N16,N19
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A
Description Value
London south and north groups only
Pico or Micro Cells where wall mounted on or in buildings /kiosks (including flag pole types on sides of buildings and forecourts) £2,750
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” with No sharers on Greenfield sites up to 45 M N/A

10.2 Rooftop Sites In Side Of M25

GROUP OFFICE Type Value Location & Band of Values
LONDON CENTRAL - WESTMINSTER AREA
Type 1 To be valued on an individual basis Typically rental value greater than £22,000 and less than £10,000 as at AVD across the area and including the whole of Leicester Square WC2.
Type 2 £20,500 Generally within £22,00 to £19,001 band of rental values and to include: - NW1 (Euston Road and Marylebone Road only) SW1 (St James, Victoria and Whitehall) W1 WC2 (excluding Leicester Square)
Type 3 £17,500 Generally within £19,000 to £16,001 band of rental value and to include: - EC1 N1, N6 NW1 (excluding Euston Road and Marylebone Road) NW3, NW8 SW1 (excluding St James, Victoria and Whitehall) SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 W2, W8, W9, W14 WC1
Type 4 £13,750 Generally within £16,000 to £10,000 band of rental values and to include: - N7 NW2, NW5, NW6, NW10 SW6 W6, W10, W11, W12
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” no sharers on ROOFTOP Site. NO Mobile Demand £8,000
London Central - City Area
Type 1 To be valued on an individual basis Typically rental value greater than £24,001 and less than £10,000 as at AVD across the area and to include: - Canary Wharf Cannon Street and Liverpool Street Stations, St Paul’s Cathedral, Bank of England, Stock Exchange
Type 2 £22,500 Generally within £24,000 to £19,001 band of rental values and to include: - EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4 Excludes those located in Type 1 areas
Type 3 £17,500 Generally within £19,000 to £16,001 band of rental value and to include: - E1, E2, E14 (excludes Canary Wharf) N1, N14
Type 4 £13,750 Generally within £16,000 to £10,000 band of rental values and to include: - E3, E5, E8, E9 N5, N7, N16, N19
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” no sharers on ROOFTOP Site. NO Mobile Demand £8,000
London South And North Groups Only
Generally Type 2 £13,500 Generally within £16,000 to £10,000 band of rental values.
TV Repeater Stations “Broadcast Mast” no sharers on ROOFTOP Site. NO Mobile Demand £6,250

Practice note 1: 2005: Communication stations (mast & aerial sites): National scheme

1. Co-ordination Arrangements

This is a Group National Scheme Class. Responsibility for implementing the scheme as set out within this Practice Note lies with the Group, as does responsibility for ensuring effective co-ordination.

For Further information see Rating Manual - Section 6 - Part 1 - Co-ordination Practice Note 1: 2005.

The R2005 Special Category Code 066 should be used and as a Group Class the appropriate suffix letter is G. The Primary Description code is to be MT1 and a standard description of “Communication Station (and Premises)” applied as appropriate. The standard description is suitable for both green-field mast sites and aerial sites on rooftops or water towers etc.

A description of “Communication and Traffic Monitoring Station (and Premises) should be used for the Traffic Master and any other similar traffic monitoring sites.

In the event of any complex issues or matters of policy arising, the case should be initially referred to the Group Mast Co-ordinator. Urgent or unresolved issues should be sent to the Mast Advice inbox for advice from the Telecoms team at CEO.

2. General

The Mast Working Party (MWP) was initially created in May 1998, consisting of representatives of the VOA, the industry and their rating advisors, in order to explore solutions to the problems with mast and aerial assessments for the 2000 list. The MWP was reconvened for the 2005 list.

The scheme of valuation, as set out in this practice note, for the 2005 rating list has now been broadly agreed with the industry and their rating advisors.

3. Background Information

a) Mobile Phones & Pagers

There are now five main cellular mobile phone operators, namely:

  • Orange – Currently owned by France Telecom;

  • Vodafone;

  • T-Mobile - Formerly known as either Mercury Personal Communications Ltd or Mercury One-2-One and more recently marketed as “One-2-One. Currently owned by Deutsche Telekom;

  • O2. The actual name of the company is MMO2, who also operate the TETRA network as Airwaves. – They have previously been known as BT Cellnet and Cellnet; and marketed as “O2” and are currently owned by Telefonica S.A; and

  • 3. The firm is actually called Hutchison 3G (H3G), which is a joint venture company owned by Hutchison Whampoa, NTT DoCoMo and KPN Mobile.

Five 3G licences were auctioned for £22.4 billion in 2000. The four incumbent 2G operators plus a new operator H3G won the 3G licences. Under the provisions of their third generation licences, operators are required to provide 80% 3G-network coverage by 2007. However, take up of 3G services was initially slow with only 216,000 handsets sold in the UK by December 2004. Orange and Vodafone launched their own 3G services later and this has lead to a greater take up rate.

The introduction of third generation services resulted in a further expansion in the number of new mast sites. Further technology has become more sophisticated, base stations are being installed in more diverse locations such as; church spires, flagpoles and lamp posts, electricity pylons, behind road signs and shop fascias, in petrol filling station signs and disguised as trees. In sensitive rural locations masts are being built within grain silos.

The infill microcell masts tend to be of a lighter design, often a lightweight monopole, similar to a lamppost, and usually no more than 12 metres in height. Many are installed on public highway land and are known as “streetwork sites”.

Some microcell sites are little more than an aerial attached to a small box of electronic equipment screwed to the wall of a building, these are often referred to as “Pico Cells”.

The VOA’s legal advice is that these small Pico Cells are sufficient to be a rateable hereditament.

b) Broadcast Sites (Radio & TV)

Traditionally these are the older larger and more established former BBC and IBA broadcasting (TV & radio) sites. Arqiva and National Grid Wireless Limited (NGW) now operate the majority of these sites.

Both Arqiva and NGW are wholly owned subsidiaries of Australian company Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group (MCG). MCG purchased NGW mast business (including the former Gridcom business) in 2006 for £2.5bn. The Competition Commission cleared the purchase, subject to certain safeguards for customers, in March 2008.

Many of the larger broadcast sites are either freehold or held on old leases with historic low rents with limited review provisions. There is evidence that rents are gradually coming into line with those of mobile phone sites. It is understood that in 1991 the former BBC/IBA reciprocal site sharing agreement was placed on a more formal commercial market basis.

Arqiva and NGW are also “site providers,” who are in the business of providing mast space for other users. Therefore these sites will usually have a number of sharers, sometimes as many as thirty or more on a larger mast. The old leases often do not reflect the modern practice of additional Payaway rents for site sharing.

Broadcast TV sites are currently undergoing a “transformation” from Analogue to Digital broadcasting. In 2007 Cumbria was the first region to “switch” to digital the completion of the switch over is expected by 2012. The timetable is provided in Appendix A below.

Groups are asked to monitor the broadcast sites within their area as they are re-engineered to digital broadcasting. Details on new and additional P & M will be required; this should include the amount of new cabling and its cost. It is likely that the older cabling for the analogue transmissions will be removed on digital roll-out as it will be obsolete.

c) Emergency Service Network

This network is provided by Airwave O2 and should not be confused with O2’s mobile network above as it is operated as a separate network. The network, provided for the use of the Emergency Services (Police, Ambulance and Fire Service) is also known as TETRA network. Airwave sites and site sharing should be valued in line with the other 5 major mobile operators BUT as a separate operator to O2 and NOT included as part of any O2 assessment. Many emergency services have migrated their radio systems onto the TETRA system from their own private radio sites and these sites in some cases are coming onto the market.

d) General View of the Industry

Mast and aerial sites are either developed by an operator or broadcaster, primarily for his own use, with site sharing facilities sometimes being offered as a secondary function, or they are developed by a “site provider” or “host” who is primarily interested in attracting site sharers as his main business and where he does not necessarily operate a telecom network or broadcast signals himself.

With the advent of the third generation mobile service, WiFi and WiMAX demand for new sites will continue. Increasing public awareness of possible health risks associated with masts means that operators will need to work harder to find suitable sites, and mast sharing is expected to become even more prevalent. However, pressure on costs has led to operators considering network infrastructure sharing, including sharing aerials and transmission equipment. T-Mobile is considering consolidating with 3 and Vodafone with Orange but it is unlikely that this will come into effect to any significant degree during the course of the 2005-rating list.

4. Valuation Considerations

The rush to roll out the digital mobile phone networks in the early 1990’s fuelled the early increases in site rents. However, as the coverage requirements were met by the late 1990’s, the operators concentrated on infilling areas of poor reception or black spots and splitting cells into smaller microcells to prevent congestion. The increases in site rents generally levelled out in the late 1990’s, though rooftop sites showed substantial increases between 1998 and 2003.

Many site rents have reviews that are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). In the early 1990’s evidence of payaways for site sharing showed that the 50% of site share income was being achieved, however, this has reduced with new agreements showing amounts equal to 30% of the site share income. The exception to this general rule is Rooftop sites where 60% to 70% of site share income is not uncommon.

The third generation service has proved extremely costly for the industry with the high licence fees, costly roll out and poor initial customer take-up. Operators are looking for savings, so the demand for sites will be tempered by the need to keep costs down. Rents are not expected to rise at the levels seen during the mid nineties, though they are unlikely to fall.

The majority of the new sites constructed now are of the monopole and column (streetworks) type and will be generally up to about 22 metres in height or they are wall mounted Pico Cells.

The Mast Working Party has agreed the costs to be applied for the 2005 list valuations.

NB: the cost guide is stored centrally to allow the team at CEO to constantly review and update. It is advised that caseworkers should always refer to this master copy rather than save a copy to their own U drive, which may become inaccurate.

The value of a site can be affected by its location, elevation, suitability, demand for site sharing and the amount of traffic that passes the site. All these factors are in addition to the normal imperfections of the market.

5. Information Required

General

In 2005/2006 some operators provided New MERI schedules of evidence, this information can be viewed within the individual folders at P:\TELECOMMUNICATIONS\Masts\2005 Lists\2005 Rents\New MERI. Evidence from these and other sources has been sifted and the results posted on the P drive. These will be periodically updated and should be used as an on going resource. Additional mast rental data from other sources, which does not appear the schedule can be sent to “Mast Advice”, headed Rental Information for incorporation.

Form VO 6050 (10/03) has been specifically designed for this class, and should be issued whenever a new site is encountered or when existing information has been found to be lacking OR evidence is required for a hearing at either Valuation Tribunal or Lands Tribunal, see b) below. There is a general presumption against the issue of a VO6050 for any site included on an electronic return from the operator concerned. The P-drive MERI folder should be checked before issuing a rent return form on a particular site.

The new VO6050 form is designed to capture details of all the site sharers on both Freehold and Leasehold sites and any additional rent or “Payaway” passed on to the landowner for the presence of site sharers. It should be noted that details of actual site sharing payments made by the sharer to the host are not requested as these are not necessarily in the nature of “rent” and the operators in the main have consistently refused to provide details. However, site share payments should be requested in the event that it is argued that the sharer is a minor one (see 8.3.1 d) below) and no payaway addition should be reflected in the valuation.

Any cost data should be made available to John Gresham, Regional Building Surveyor based at Cambridge VO and copied to the Telecommunications team at CEO using “Mast Advice” headed Cost Information.

Reval 2010

In February and March 2008, the main mobile and broadcast site operators provided updated electronic returns (MERI) in respect of Reval 2010. These returns can be accessed on the P drive at P:\TELECOMMUNICATIONS\Masts\2010\Rental Information\MERIs. These returns include all the rented sites for each operator, including a significant number of unassessed sites that Groups now need to bring in to rating; they also include sites on which they are sharers. Arqiva; National Grid Wireless (NGW); O2; Orange; Vodafone; T-Mobile and 3 (Hutchison 3G) have all provided returns.

In the circumstances no Forms of Return (FOR), VO6050’s, are to be issued for those operators named above in respect of the 2010 revaluation. No bulk issue of VO6050’s will be made for SCAT Code 066 in respect of the 2010 revaluation. Groups should identify any other mast Host or operator’s sites and individually serve VO6050’s for the 2010 revaluation.

Additionally it has been agreed to abort FOR’s issued for the purposes of maintaining the 2005 list from February 2008. However, VO6050’s can be issued in respect of 2000 and 2005 defence work if required and the information cannot be extracted from the 2010 electronic returns, providing a written request is first made to the Data Team manager.

There is to be a general presumption against the issue of a VO6050 for any site included on an electronic return from the operator concerned with the 2010 revaluation. The P-drive MERI folder should be checked before issuing a rent return from a particular site.

6. Unit of Assessment

The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (England) Regulations 2000, (SI 2000 No. 2421) came into effect on 1 October 2000 with the aim of allowing the aggregation of all site sharers into a single hereditament, with the principal site operator or “host” being responsible for rates. Telecommunications apparatus of Central Rating List occupiers, who are not the host, is treated as “excepted apparatus” and excluded from the aggregation. It should be noted that the existence of central list site sharers will qualify the site as a shared site under SI 2421 and the Host should be assessed as in rateable occupation even though no value should be added to the Host valuation for central list sharers. (See section 7 below for more details on Central List).

The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) (Wales) Regulations 2000, (SI 2000 No. 3383) came into effect from a later date on 1 April 2001 in respect of the 2000 local rating lists in Wales and although worded slightly differently, it mirrors the English regulations.

Both the English and Welsh Host regulations will apply for the 2005 rating lists. However, it should be understood that the Host regulations will only apply to shared sites and not to sites occupied by a single operator, even if the landlord is a host site provider.

A single operator site should be assessed to that operator not to the landlord. This approach should be followed even if the landlord is a site provider such as Arqiva or NGW, providing they do not broadcast or transmit from the site themselves. If subsequently a sharer moves onto the site or the landlord/host begins broadcasting or transmitting himself, the status changes to a shared site and the Host regulations will apply and the site provider becomes the rateable occupier of the shared site.

These regulations are not intended to make a land owner or landlord, who is not in the telecoms business, responsible for the rates liability where he is in occupation of land, buildings or structures for purposes other than telecommunications. An example might be a Hospital, School, Water Tower or a farmer’s field, on which space is let to a telecommunications operator or telecommunications site provider. The regulations achieve this by: -

a. specifically applying to a “telecommunications hereditament”, which is defined as a site forming a hereditament occupied exclusively by telecommunications apparatus of either a single operator or more than one operator and

b. not applying the aggregation where the telecommunications hereditament is on or forms part of a structure occupied by the host for any purpose other than the provision of or operation of a site for telecommunications apparatus.

The exclusive test disregards the presence of ancillary accommodation used for the normal operation of a telecoms site, which may correctly form part of the principal telecoms hereditament. It should also be noted that an exclusive telecommunications hereditament means a broadcast or mobile (wireless telegraphy) telecommunications hereditament, not a BT fixed line telephone exchange, which should, if a rooftop installation, be treated as any other building roof top assessment as set out in paragraph below.

In the case of, for example, a water tower occupied by Water Company, which lets space on the water tower under separate agreements to one or more mobile phone operators, the water tower is the Principal hereditament but is not occupied exclusively by telecommunications apparatus and is not a broadcast or mobile telecommunications hereditament. In these circumstances, the provisions of SI2421 are not satisfied and each mobile phone operator will have a separately rateable telecommunication hereditament as before. The same would apply to the roof of a building where each operator has a separate agreement with a building owner and there is no Principal telecommunications hereditament. However, if the building owner lets the entire rooftop to a telecommunications site provider and the site provider sublets that area to individual operators as site shares, then the site provider will occupy a Principal telecommunications hereditament and all the site sharers will be aggregated into the site provider’s host telecommunications hereditament. It must be remembered that there must be more than one operator sharing the site for a HOST assessment to be created.

On a shared site, it is important in the first instance to identify the “principal telecommunications hereditament” and the host or main operator who occupies the principal telecommunications hereditament, as they will be the rateable occupier of the whole telecom site, including the site sharers. A HOST is defined as – “individual who has the right to receive payment in respect of the use of any part of the site by any other who is an operator occupying telecommunications apparatus, or would have such a right if any such part were so used”. Basically this means that the telecom site provider or operator who receives the site share payments, or who would be entitled to receive the payments, will be the ratepayer for the whole telecoms hereditament.

The next stage is to ascertain whether any telecommunication apparatus on the principal hereditament, other than the host’s, is occupied by a Central Rating List “Designated Person” and is therefore “excepted apparatus”.

The Central List site sharers will need to be excluded from the aggregation to the host hereditament under the provisions of the regulations, as they are deemed reflected in the relevant central list hereditaments. No account should be taken of the Central List site sharers when considering the valuation of the host site. This principle should be applied irrespective of whether or not the Central List telecoms apparatus at the host site is capable of forming a separate hereditament from the host. A “flowchart” can be accessed in Appendix B to assist in the determination of the correct Unit of Assessment.

If there is any doubt as to the correct unit of assessment or interpretation of the regulations, advice should be sought from “Mast Advice”

7. Central Rating Lists

Details of central list occupiers are set out in Rating Manual - Section 2 - Part 2. It should be noted that the “Designated Person” named in the regulations may not be the current “Designated Person” where the company has been taken over or changed their trading name. For example, “Racal Telecommunications Ltd” are named in SI 2000 No. 525 but were purchased by “Global Crossing (UK) Telecommunications Ltd” who became the new “Designated Person” from January 2000.

In the case of the Host of the mast being a central list occupier there are two possible situations:

The mast is a remote stand-alone site. In these circumstances the sharers are merged into the Host assessment and included in their central list assessment. An example would be a Transco mast used exclusively for the purposes’ of telecommunications. SI2421 would apply and all sharers would be included in the Transco Central List assessment. Should caseworkers come across any examples then they should notify the CEO Telecoms Team, so they can forward the information to Utilities Rating Team;

The mast is part of a larger non-telecoms hereditament, for example; the corner of a reservoir, gas hereditament or electrical sub station site. In these circumstances the Host regulations do not apply, not exclusively telecommunications and the sharers should be separately assessed if they have their own exclusive room or cabin. If they share non-exclusive accommodation with the central list host they are included in the central list assessment as there will be no separately identifiable hereditament.

CEO Telecommunications Team and the Utilities Rating Team (URT) deal with central list assessments. All queries on the local list/ central list boundary should be referred to CEO via the “Mast Advice” inbox under the heading Central/Local List.

The Central List host site will form part of the occupier’s central rating list assessment, provided that the site is not an “excepted hereditament” as defined in Part III of the Central Rating Lists (England) Regulations 2000, SI 2000 No. 525.

Where the host is not a central list designated person but a sharer the sharer is treated as “excepted apparatus” and therefore should not be included with the host hereditament. This also applies to a designated person who shares a site with another designated person who is the host of the principal telecommunications hereditament.

Details of any separately assessed site sharers to be merged into a central rating list host hereditament, including non-central list site sharers, and details of any excepted apparatus in respect of any host site, including non-central list host sites, should be sent to “Mast Advice”.

8. Valuation Guidance

The valuation methodology can be split into three components, which are dealt with in separately below, and are:

  1. Buildings & Rateable Plant and Machinery;

  2. Site Base rent; and

  3. Site sharing – Payaway Rent.

The method of valuation is primarily a rental basis for the site with a contractor’s basis addition to reflect the added value of site development, (buildings and rateable plant and machinery) which are not included in the site rent. The rental value of the site is enhanced by the presence of site sharers. Sometimes, particularly on older leases, site sharers are already reflected in the main site rent, or more commonly there is an additional rental charge for each sharer, aerial or dish paid to the landlord, this is known as the “Payaway”. This will depend on the terms of the actual agreement. Payaways are usually based on a percentage of the site share payment made by the equipment operator to the Host site operator, typically 33% on a Greenfield site. Payaways should not be confused with the site share payment made by the operator to the Host, as these payments are not directly rents as they often include service and management fees for example.

There are basically three types of mast occupier;

Type 1: Single operator sites where the occupier broadcasts or transmits telecommunication signals as part of his own business or for his own purposes with no site sharers;

Type 2: A site provider who is in the business of developing a telecommunications site and letting space to other operators and site sharers as his main business but who does not broadcast or transmit signals for his own purposes;

Type 3: A type 1 occupier who is also a site provider, or type 2 occupier and transmits signals for his own purposes as well as attracting site sharers onto his telecommunications site.

The distinction between type 2 and type 3 should be reflected in the respective valuations: a type 3 occupied site has a more intensive use with the valuation reflecting the occupier’s own use as well as that of additional site sharer’s. In comparison, a type 2-site operator does not benefit from his own equipment on the site, only from attracting other operators as sharers. This distinction can be reflected by the adjustment of the site rent of a type 2 occupied site downwards where the evidence supports this, if the rental evidence has been taken from a type 3 occupied site.

It is suggested that in the case of a type 2 site, the first equipment occupier is reflected in the base site rent and additions are only made for subsequent sharers.

There will be no site share value in a type 1 occupied site, and the site rent should reflect this where appropriate and be taken from similarly occupied sites.

In some cases the replacement of the existing mast with a more substantial structure would be required to facilitate site sharing and may lead to re-negotiation of the rental agreement.

8.1 Buildings and Rateable Plant & Machinery

This is the contractor’s basis addition to the rent of the undeveloped site. The addition is based upon the cost of construction, decapitalised at the statutory decapitalisation rate, which for the 2005 list is 5%. It includes buildings, cabins, cabinets, the masts structure itself, rateable cabling, any stand-by generator sets, back-up batteries and associated equipment, electrical distribution boards (larger sites), fencing, hard standings which are not included within other costs (masts and cabins are normally costed to include the concrete bases), gates, cable trays and other supporting steelwork, etc.

Air conditioning plant found at telecommunications sites is normally only rateable when found in offices at the larger sites. Elsewhere, its primary function is the cooling of non-rateable items of plant & machinery, such as switching and transmission equipment. In such cases it will be non-rateable.

Rooftop installations will sometimes have equipment housed in a room within the building to which the antennae are attached by cables. It should be established if the internal equipment room is included in the rooftop site rent or otherwise. If adopting the actual roof top site rent, ensure that the rent does not already reflect the accommodation, if making an addition for equipment rooms, as this will be double counting.

Plans and details of rooftop installations should be requested from the operators as in most cases inspections will not be possible. For health and safety reasons, referencing of roof top sites should not be undertaken but photographs can be taken from a suitable, safe vantage point e.g. access doorway on roof. The Plant and Machinery cost element for a typical single operator roof top site should be taken as £4,066 ERC per operator and includes cabinets and cabling. Cabins and rooms should be added along with a site rent.

This approach is applicable for the 5.0m stub masts and for a system of pole mounted antennas, typically 3 or 4.

Any roof top installation of a more substantial construction should be valued on an individual cost basis and details requested from the operator.

8.2 Site Rents

All evidence based on January 2002 to April 2003 rents unless otherwise stated;

a. Overview

Differences in site rental values nationally are not particularly wide compared with other types of hereditament. Nevertheless, there are particular localities where rental levels may be higher than average (Large urban conurbations; Sites which are in particular demand by an operator; Locations where public opposition is strong; Sites with excellent geographical features etc). Similarly, factors such as: Plentiful supply of potential sites; Sites in remote rural locations; Inability to share etc can reduce rental levels. The availability of potential host sites for sharing may affect rental values on green-field sites in a particular locality by reducing demand for additional sites. Rent levels are not closely linked to site size in the same way as those of other hereditaments.

Groups should formulate a local group-wide basis, for masts under 25 metres in height and for rooftop and water tower sites. Rental evidence is located within the P Drive (P:\TELECOMMUNICATIONS\Masts\2005 List/2005 Rents and general guidance is outlined below. It is the responsibility of individual groups to liaise with adjoining groups to coordinate the evidence as appropriate.

A National agreement has been reached on the site rents to be adopted for Masts over 25 metres in height and on the site share addition, details are set out below and summarised at Appendix C, of this Practice Note. The national agreement relates to hereditaments outside the M25.

A national agreement has not been reached on Multi mast sites and mast farms i.e. more than one mast or tower on the site. These need to be looked at and considered on an individual site-by-site basis. These sites need to be co-ordinated between Groups via the Telecoms Team at CEO through “Mast Advice”.

Site rents can vary between operators. It has been argued that recent market arrivals such as 3 (Hutchison 3G /(H3G)) tend to pay relatively higher rental levels than established operators such as O2 and Vodafone. It is claimed that H3G were anxious to roll out their third generation network in accordance with the terms of their licence, so they were effectively on a time limit and agreed to pay rents above the normal market level. In many areas there is now also a shortage of potential sites, and public knowledge of site values is also better than a few years ago, so later entries to the market must expect to pay more. These factors should be taken into account when analysing evidence and it is advised that where the greater quantity of evidence is provided from sites occupied by H3G then you should:

All rents should be categorised and analysed to establish probable tone;

H3G rents to be analysed in isolation;

All other operators to be analysed in isolation

If having done this, it can be shown that the H3G evidence is significantly higher than the evidence from the analysis from a) and c) then it is advised that the H3G evidence should be given slightly less weight as appropriate. Any queries on this approach should be sent to CEO using “Mast Advice”.

a.Greenfield Sites for Single Masts up to 25 metres high. (GVO – local tone)

Each Group should establish the appropriate levels of value based on their own local evidence. However if there is an absence of such information the following is provided for your general guidance.

The average site rent for all single user green-field sites nationally (excluding Ulster) is £4,682, based upon a sample size of 990. The figure excludes sites which are believed to be shared, and also excludes sites identified as Orange Microcells, and broadcast sites in locations where there is no obvious demand for site sharing.

There is now no discernible difference between site rents for lattice mast sites and those for column sites, except in the case of the very light duty lamp-post type columns, which rarely if ever exceed 12 metres in height. The range of site values runs from around £2,500 in remote rural areas such as parts of Dyfed, Somerset, Essex, Lincolnshire etc, to around £6000 or more in prime urban locations. Sites within the M25 can be higher still.

Groups should carefully review the evidence in the P Drive, notably the file “Greenfield Sites – Mainland,” which can be found in the sub-folder for 2005 sifted rental evidence under “TELECOMMUNICATIONS.” A local basis should be formulated based upon this evidence. As a national overview, a site value of say £4,500 could be supported as a single catch-all rate across most groups. However, if the evidence suggests it, groups may prefer to adopt a two-tier basis, with a primary rate for dense urban locations and a secondary rate for rural areas.

a. Shared Greenfield Sites for Single Masts up to 25 metres high. (GVO – local tone)

It has been agreed to CAP any site base rent plus site sharer addition (£1,500 per major site sharer) to £10,000 for mast sites up to 25 metres in height outside the M25. This CAP relates only to the site rent and Payaway addition (see 8.3.1d below), it does not include the cost based on Plant & Machinery value, which is added to the capped rent.

a. Greenfield Sites for Single Heavy/Medium Duty Column Masts within Fenced Compounds. All Heights of Mast, no site sharers (GVO – local tone)

These sites are generally below 25 metres in height. Groups should consider all their available evidence to ensure consistency otherwise as for Group 1 (B) above.

a. Greenfield Sites for Single Light Duty Column Masts Over 12 metres high (typically section not exceeding 0.30 at base). Without Compounds and with a Site Area under 5 square metres, no site sharers (GVO – local tone)

Subject to local evidence, a national overview, site rent of £3,000 is suggested for this group.

a. Light Duty Lamppost Masts (up to 12 metres high and Under 0.30 section at Base). Without fenced compounds and site area under 5 square metres (GVO – local tone)

Subject to local evidence, a national overview, a site rent of £2000 is suggested for this group. If it is not similar in dimensions to a typical street lighting post it should be treated as a light duty column as in D) above.

a. Small Installations

For sites that do not “fit the mould,” have regard to local evidence. For example, minor operators such as taxi firms, local radio stations, universities etc are unlikely to require a substantial installation, and rent paid is likely to be relatively low. Therefore such operators should not be assessed on the basis adopted for mobile ‘phone operators. Rents in such cases can range from just a few hundred pounds to maybe £2,000 or so. In many cases these masts are part of a larger occupation, such as a taxi control centre and often can be considered

de-minimis in the valuation of larger premises.

a. Sites for Artificial Tree Masts (GVO – local tone)

Some examples of site rents for artificial tree mast sites suggest a higher rent level than for other types of single user site. The requirement to disguise a mast in this way suggests environmental concerns in the locality, which might imply a shortage of potential sites, leading in turn to higher rent.

However, the evidence is insufficient to draw firm conclusions, so it is suggested that in the absence of local evidence to the contrary, site rent in line with other single user sites as in B) and C) above should be adopted.

The additional cost of construction will however need to be reflected. It is advised that you add 50% of the typical pole/column cost to reflect the additional parts (branches etc).

a. Installations Within Petrol Filling Station Signs

There are 9 rents dated June 2002, all at £1,500, which is no change from the July 2000 level of rent. There was a single rent (in Sussex) of £2,200. Despite evidence that telecom rents generally rose between 2000 and 2002, it is clear that the rate to be adopted for these sites for 2005 is £1,500. Infrastructure should be added at the same rate as for lamp-post masts.

a. Installations on Electricity Transmission Towers (Pylons) – (GVO local tone)

Pylon installations generally result in two separate rents being paid:

A payment to the relevant electricity company; and

a payment to the landowner for the space required for a cabin or cabinets at ground level.

Evidence is rather limited, but shows that the electricity board payment may be in the region of £2,000 at AVD and often a similar additional rental payment is made to the land-owner.

As a pragmatic approach, it is suggested that pylon-mounted sites be assessed in the same way as rooftop sites, with a single cost basis to reflect cabling and infrastructure, plus an addition for the cabin or cabinets. The site rent should be based upon the sum of the actual evidence of the two rent payments if these can be obtained. In the absence of such evidence, site rent should be in line with the local tertiary rooftop tone or the Greenfield sites as in B) above. Most such sites will normally be in tertiary or secondary positions.

a. Installations on Rooftops & Water Towers.

Site rentals for this category will again depend on local evidence and groups should look at all their evidence and then allocate sites/locations depending on the following categories:

a) Prime;

b) Secondary;

c) Tertiary; and

d) Host Sites

In the absence of local evidence regard should be had to the level of rent for a Greenfield site in the locality or roof top site rent evidence in an adjoining area. An exception to this general rule is installations on/within a BT exchange. These are to be considered separately and specific advice is provided below.

i) Prime Sites in major cities & towns (excluding Central London) (GVO - local tone)

Site rents for rooftop installations may depend upon a number of factors, including the number of antennae and dishes; prominence of the location, importance of the location to the operator etc. For convenience, in previous rating lists it has been agreed with agents acting for the industry, that a scale of values for rooftop sites, based loosely on the type of location, has pragmatic advantages. This approach minimises the amount of information required on site. This is important, as these sites can be difficult to access, and are potentially more difficult to inspect than freestanding sites.

Average of all rooftop sites, including Ulster, is £8,482 from a sample of 820

Groups should adopt local basis. See P Drive/TELECOMMUNICATIONS for evidence, file “All Rooftop Sites – 2005”, under 2005 sifted evidence sub-folder. As a national overview, the suggested site rent for single operator prime sites: - £10,000.

ii) Secondary Sites in smaller towns, non-central positions in larger towns (GVO – local tone)

Groups should adopt local basis. See P Drive/TELECOMMUNICATIONS for evidence, file “All Rooftop Sites – 2005”, under 2005 sifted evidence SUB-folder. As a national overview, the suggested site rent for single operator secondary sites - £7,500.

iii) Tertiary Sites (Peripheral & less important positions)

Groups to adopt local basis. See P Drive/TELECOMMUNICATIONS for evidence, file “All Rooftop Sites – 2005”, under 2005 sifted evidence folder. As a national overview, the suggested site rent for single operator secondary sites - £5,000. (See F above for non-mobile and other minor operators)

iv) Roof Top Host Sites and Site Sharing

It should be noted that the agreed £1,500 site share addition used on Greenfield sites MUST NOT be adopted for Roof Top or water tower sites. Local evidence must be used to determine the appropriate level of value, which the site sharers pay and amount to the HOST, similar to that of the Base Rent. However, we need to consider the “payaway” – see below.

For rooftops it is suggested that for each separate sharer an amount equal to 60% of the rooftop tone is added to the base rent. E.g. If the rooftop tone equals £10,000 and there are 2 sharers then the calculation would be:

Base Rent - £10,000; plus

2 x £6,000 = £12,000 – Total site rent to adopt = £22,000

a. BT Rooftops and Sites within Exchanges (GVO – Local Tone)

The approach adopted in these assessments is the same as that for K) above, except for the base rent element – see below.

Unit of Assessment

It should be noted that not all installations within the demise of a BT exchange will be located on the roof and any of the following circumstances may not be uncommon:

Rooftop – All equipment located on the roof of the exchange;

Compound – Equipment located within a compound within car park/similar area at ground level;

Combination – Stub mast located on the roof but has cabling linked to a cabin within compound at ground level.

In each of the 3 categories if there is only a single operator on site, e.g. T Mobile, then they will be the rateable occupier and a Hosting situation ONLY occurs where there are 2 or more operators present, in which case NGW will be the rateable occupier.

Base Rent

NGW and BT have entered in to an agreement, known as the Reach Agreement, in which the right to receive the income from Mobile Telecommunications located within BT Exchanges was transferred to NGW.

In 2006 the VOA obtained a synopsis of this agreement we have now obtained a more comprehensive schedule.

This schedule BT Reach Return 2007 provides details of the portfolio of properties (BT Exchanges) together with the sharers present as at the date for the return – June 2007. In addition the schedule shows the cumulative amount of rent that has been paid by each of the sharers’, that is the total rent that NGW has received from the site sharer and should not be confused with the “payaway”. See below.

Whilst the name of the BT exchange is provided on the return the address has not, although this can be found using the following website link, which will take you to the regional statistics page of the website, From here you can use areas to locate exchanges within your group area. As an alternative to the suggested search BT exchanges are also grouped into local authority areas in the “availability>local authority statistics” option located on the left hand column of the page on the website.

In reviewing any assessment reference must be made to the information within the reach agreement to determine the correct Site Rent. If the information has not been provided then caseworkers should seek the relevant rental information, similar to that shown in the reach agreement for each operator, from NGW using their rating agents Cluttons.

The approach outlined in K v) above should be followed except within Central London where settlements of 70% of site share income has been reached. This has been based on local evidence.

The rents shown on the Reach agreement will need to be adjusted to provide the annual equivalent rental for each of the operators. This will require further adjustment as each of the developed sites will include P & M elements that will need to be deducted from the rent otherwise there will be an element of double counting. An example of the relevant calculation is shown at Appendix D, below.

a. NATIONAL AGREEMENT

1) Traffic Master Sites

It has been agreed that £120 per pole as total RV, should be adopted for this category.

2) Broadcast masts without sharers (National Tone)

These are generally well-established, light duty, radio or television broadcast/booster masts in fairly remote areas, and will usually be held freehold or on historically low rent leases. Many will now have sharers, in which case they should be assessed on the guidelines outlined above, as for any other mast of similar size. However, in a very few cases, there will be no mobile ‘phone masts in the locality, so demand for the more expensive sites will not be established. In such cases, the following should be adopted:

Masts up to 25 metres high - £1,250; and

Masts between 26 and 45 metres high - £1,750

3) Greenfield Sites - Masts over 25 metres in height BUT not exceeding 35 metres high. (Excluding Guyed Mast Radiator Sites – see 7) below)

It has been agreed that for a single operator site a Base rent of £5,000 should be adopted.

Where there are multiple operators/sharers on a site then the base site rent, including the site share addition of £1500 per sharer is subject to a CAP (not including P & M) of £11,500.

It should be noted that sites within the M25 are generally higher than elsewhere. Local evidence within this area should be considered and the appropriate levels adopted. Furthermore this remains true where the evidence shows that the levels adopted should be on an individual site basis, if deemed appropriate.

4) Greenfield Sites - Masts 36 metres high BUT not exceeding 45 metres high. (Excluding Guyed Mast Radiator Sites – see 7) below)

It has been agreed that for a single operator site a Base rent of £5,500 should be adopted.

Where there are multiple operators/sharers on a site then the base site rent, including the site share addition of £1500 per sharer is subject to a CAP (not including P & M) of £14,750.

**5) Greenfield Sites - Masts 46 metres high BUT not exceeding 60 metres high. (Excluding Guyed Mast Radiator Sites – see 7) below)

It has been agreed that for a single operator site a Base rent of £6,250 should be adopted.

Where there are multiple operators/sharers on a site then the base site rent, including the site share addition of £1500 per sharer is subject to a CAP (not including P & M) of £16,750.

Greenfield Sites - Masts in excess of 60 metres in height.

Following detailed discussions with the agents it has been agreed to consider these within two further categories:

a) 61m to 150m – A single operator site a Base rent of £7,500, should be adopted. Where there are multiple operators/sharers on a site then the base rent, including the site share addition of £1500 per sharer, is subject to a CAP (not including P & M) of £27,000; and

b) 151m and above - An all-inclusive base site rental of £27,000. To include ALL site sharers, but does not include the P & M addition.

NB: It should be noted that this guidance relates to sites outside the M25 corridor. Any site within the M25 should be considered on the local evidence available – (see below)

There are a relatively small number of these sites, together with the limited evidence, indicates that sites falling within this group should be placed on a common basis nationally. This class encompasses the very tall, heavy-duty guyed masts. Only 10 items of rental evidence over £20,000 are available, covering mainly the very large mast sites. Some of the rent dates are quite early, and others have clearly been reviewed using RPI. The average of these rents is £28,154, with London evidence at the higher end of the scale.

Within M25 – In the absence of actual rental evidence the following is suggested as a fall back position:

a) 61m to 150m - £10,000 - Base Rent plus £1500 per sharer up to a base rent plus site share addition CAP £30,000 (CAP not including P & M addition); and

b) 151 plus - £30,000, all inclusive to include all site sharers. (CAP not including P & M addition).

7) Sites for Guyed Mast Radiators - Light duty guyed mast, where the mast itself is live but excludes heavy-duty guyed masts.

This type of site is characterised by requiring a relatively large acreage of buffer land around the mast, partly for safety, as the mast is live, and partly for operational reasons for the stay anchor supports. The land is generally grazed. A national basis has been agreed that for single mast sites a Base rent of £6,000 will be adopted.

Where a second mast has been erected solely for the purpose of hosting site sharers, it has been agreed to add £1,500 per site sharer to the £6,000 base rent.

8) Sites for “Mast Farms.”

Nationally there are a very few sites containing a large number of masts on a single site. Sometimes referred to as “Mast Farms”, these sites should be assessed on an individual basis.

The former BBC World Service site at Rampisham, Dorset (now run by VT Communications) is an example of this type. The VOA has made an appeal to the Lands Tribunal following the decision of local VT on the 2000 list assessment. Further guidance will be provided once this case has been decided.

In the circumstances it is advised that all casework on similar sites is allocated to the local Group Mast Coordinator (GMC) who should notify the Telecoms Team at CEO for advice and coordination.

9) Summary

A complete summary of the information provided in the various sections of 8.2 M 3 through to 7 above is summarised in Appendix C of this Practice Note.

a. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

A number of IA’s have been issued since the commencement of the 2005 list and the majority of these have now been incorporated into this revised practice note. However, those that relate to other issues have been reproduced at Appendix E below.

8.3 Mast Sharing

Under the provisions of the Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Apparatus) 2000 (SI 2421 England & SI 3383 Wales), a site used exclusively for telecommunications and where there is more than one operator present requires a single HOST assessment to be created.

The presence of accommodation for associated personnel or equipment would not defeat the exclusivity requirement. However, masts on an electricity depot or a police station site for example, would not be exclusively telecommunications sites. Therefore, any rateable mast operators, other than Central List operators, would fall to be separately assessed, provided the issue of paramount control could be established. Central List operators would be deemed to be included in the Central List entry of that occupier.

The additional rental value to a site from operators sharing is to be reflected as a rental addition as set out below.

8.3.1 2005 Rating List – Sharing Payments – Payaways

A Payaway is the additional rent passed on to the landlord by the main site operator or Host in respect of site sharing by other operators. It is often based on a percentage of the site share income the main operator receives from the site sharers.

As a percentage of the sharing payment, payaway levels have fallen over the past 10 years or so from a high of around 50% to a widely adopted “norm” of 30% on Greenfield sites. Rooftop sites however can be up to 60 – 70%.

Greenfield Site Payaways

The base rent of all host masts, whether Site Provider, Broadcast, or Mobile Phone, should be enhanced by adding £1,500 payaway for every major sharer, which includes all telecommunications operators. Minor sharers e.g. taxi firms are to be considered as de-minimus. This has been agreed with the MWP (Mast Working Party) and applies to sites outside the M25 corridor. Within the M25 caseworkers are advised to considered appropriate local evidence.

As a general rule of thumb for identifying minor sharers, any paying below a £3,000pa site share payment threshold should be treated as de-minimus. All mobile operators are considered major sharers irrespective of the level of site share payment paid to the host. The operators/agents must produce site share payment evidence in order to support any claim that a sharer is de-minimus. Additions for site sharers are made up to the base rent plus site shaere CAP as outlined earlier in this Practice Note.

E.g. 46m mast with 7 sharers to count will have a base rent of £6,250, with a site share addition of 7 x £1,500 / + £10,500. The total base rent plus site share addition is £16,750, which is also the CAP. The addition of an 8th site sharer would therefore not affect the Rateable Value other than to reflect the additional Plant & Machinery;

Rooftop Sites

The Greenfield site payaway addition does not apply to roof top sites and water towers. These should be considered on the evidence from the particular site and on evidence in the locality. They are usually generally higher than for Greenfield sites.

9. Obsolescence

Obsolescence will be more prevalent at older sites. Technology continues to advance at a pace resulting in smaller electronic components and lighter aerials and dishes. Any allowances for technical obsolescence should be judged against the technology that was widely available and in use at the AVD. Claims that a modern replacement mast would be of a lighter or smaller design must be backed up by a full written report by a suitably qualified structural engineer. Some of the larger obsolete horn type aerials which can weigh up to two tonnes are often left in place but disconnected due to the high cost of removing them. The demand for site sharing and height of existing aerials should be taken into account when considering the modern equivalent. The Valuation Officer should be satisfied that a lesser modern construction is appropriate.

At some sites an existing mast may become obsolete due to age or loading and a replacement is built adjacent to it. The aerials and dishes are then migrated, over time, onto the new mast with the intention of demolishing the old mast eventually. It is acceptable to consider an allowance on the old mast, providing it can be shown that the new mast has the structural capacity to accept all the aerials and dishes on the site without causing interference and the intention is to demolish the old mast and not to use it for additional site sharing capacity.

Smaller electronic components require less space within the buildings and cabins but again demand for space by site sharers or alternative storage use must be taken into account. Care must be taken with alleged obsolescence allowances, particularly as excess space is often used for storage purposes. If there is any dispute on excess space allowances, sometimes referred to as superfluity, then the site should be inspected and the actual area in use and not in use ascertained.

For the purposes of the 2005 list the following has been agreed:

Prefabricated Cabins – As a general rule of thumb cabins found on mobile phone sites would require maximum area of 6.25 sq metres. Caseworkers should note the actual size of the cabin during inspection and on the appropriate line within the valuation for future reference. This allowance should only be applied to single operator prefabricated cabins, similar to the Elliot cabins typically found on site.

Where mobile operators share the cabin, the area required should be taken as the actual area, or (6.25 + 1.50) sq metres multiplied by the number of operators sharing the accommodation, whichever is the smaller. This allowance does not apply at Broadcast sites as the transmission equipment requires more space.

Brick/Stone Cabins – Typically these will be found on older mobile sites and sites used for braoadcasting. Additionally they may be so constructed as part of the planning requirements – say in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Caseworkers should not apply the same test as outlined in a) above. Instead they should inspect the site and determine the level of used accommodation. An allowance equal to 50% of the vacant space should be applied to the valuation. e.g. A brick built cabin 12 sq m in size and from inspection it has been determined that 4 sq m is occupied then 50% of the vacant space is 12 – 4 = 8 x 50% = 4 sqm. It is suggested that 8 m would be valued in MAV with the appropriate comment made in the remarks.

10. Address Standardisation Protocol

Instructions issued on 7 July 2007 provided guidance that with immediate effect any casework dealt with after this date should use these revised instructions for address creation and maintenance.

This revised approach is to improve the accuracy of the rating lists and to assist in data integrity issues i.e. auto matching centrally supplied rental information.

All entries shown in the list a should have the following information within the address:

Site Cell Ref – This is combination of alpha; numeric or both depending on operator;

Operator Name – This will be either the name of the operator on a single operator site or the Host on a shared site. Caseworkers should take care when creating the address as data integrity checks are performed regularly at the centre. In creating the address the following is provided for guidance:

  • O2 – Note this is a letter not the number 0;

  • Hutchison - is sufficient not 3 or Hutchison 3G;

  • Vodafone – note the spelling, no “ph” in the name;

  • T-Mobile;

  • Orange;

  • Arqiva; and

  • NGW – This is an acceptable abbreviation for National Grid Wireless

  • Street Name;

Post Code – This should be the one recognised by the operator and supplied to the local Planning Authority on the rollout plans;

Rural Sites – It is suggested that the Ordnance Survey map reference. Those not familiar with the creation of OS reference numbers then there is a .pdf attachment in Appendix F of the manual that explains things.

Examples of the address standardisation protocols are shown on this link address protocols or alternatively see Appendix F for the relevant links

Mast Application Valuation (MAV2)

All valuations, except those for large broadcast sites, should now be performed using the MAV2 application. Instructions on how to use have been issued separately and are contained within the Help section within the application.

It is accepted that on large broadcast and mast farm sites the MAV2 application does not provide sufficient line entries especially for the P & M elements. In the circumstances you are advised to use the generic spreadsheet on the non-bulk server.

11. Additional Information

Appendix E (bookmark to be added) provides a list of IA’s that have previously issued to the network, providing a range of information on storage of rental information and other sources of information that may assist in maintaining a fir and correct list.

12. Enquiries

Any enquiries this Practice Note should be directed to the Telecommunications Team, within CEO Rating Directorate. In the first instance this should be done in conjunction with the Group Mast Coordinator via email to “Mast Advice” using the subject box for the purpose of the query.

Practice note 1: 2005: Appendix A: Timetable for digital switchover

Appendix A – Timetable for Digital Switchover

Region Switchover happens in
Border 2008 - 09
West Country,Granada 2009
Wales 2009 - 10
West, STV North 2010 - 11
STV Central 2010 - 11
Central, Yorkshire, Anglia 2011
Meridian, London, 2012
Tyne Tees, Ulster 2012

Regional Map

This map gives more information about when television will start to go fully digital in each TV region. Note that some regions will complete the process in the following calendar year.

Practice note 1: 2005: Appendix C: Summary of national agreement for base site rents

The following is a summary of the agreement reached by the Mast Working Party for Single Mast sites outside the M25.

**a. Structures of up to 25m **

These are to be values using local evidence. However, it was agreed that where there were sharers on site the Base Rent would be capped at £10,000;

a. Structures of 26m and above

Following discussions with the operators and agents the following has been agreed and should be adopted for single Mast sites outside the M25;

(i) 26 – 35 m SR £5000 CAP £11,000;

(ii) 36 – 45 m SR £5,500 CAP £14,500;

(iii) 46 – 60 m SR £6,250 CAP £16,750;

(iv) 61 – 150m SR £7,500 CAP £27,000; and

(v) 151m+ £27,000 all inclusive

It should be remembered that the CAP relates to the overall site rent and includes site share additions and that the decapitalised P & M element is added to this to arrive at the unadjusted rateable Value.

NB: The CAP does not apply on sites where there a number of structures.

a. Guyed Radiator Masts

It has been agreed that the base rent that should be adopted for this type of structure is **£6,000. **

Due to the nature of these Masts they are incapable of taking sharers. However, where a second mast is erected solely for the purpose of hosting site sharers it has been agreed to add £1,500 per sharer to the base rent, shown above.

Practice note 1: 2005: Appendix D: Worked example for a rooftop site on BT Exchange

Introduction

The following is an example of how a valuation for a 3-operator site located on a BT Rooftop should be prepared and entered on MAV2.

a. Valuation Details

The screen shot below diagram 1 shows the line entries that should be entered on page 2, Valuation Details of the application.

ow a valuation for a 3-operator site located on a BT Rooftop should be prepared and entered on MAV2.

You should note that for each of the 3 operators, Me; You; and Them there is an addition for P & M but not for site infrastructural costs, which are included in the £4,066. The only other addition required is for the cabins and/or rooms within the building.

a. Base/Site Rent

The calculation required to arrive at the Site Rent element for a site located on the rooftop of a BT exchange.

The above diagram tries to outline the calculation required to arrive at the Site Rent element for a site located on the rooftop of a BT exchange.

Points to Note:

A) Tone for the area £7,500 – should be established by reference to evidence within the locality;

B) Site Share Additions have been calculated at 60% of the rent paid by the respective operators to the Host. As this is a developed site this has then been adjusted to deduct the rental equivalent of the P & M, which is included in the rent and is correctly valued separately on Page 2.

a. Remarks

Caseworkers should make sufficient remark in the Notes and Sharers page as demonstrated above so the approach can be followed through on subsequent revisions to the assessment.

Practice note 1: 2005: Appendix E: Summary of instructions & advice previously issued to network

A) Introduction

This appendix contains the 3 IA’s issued since the commencement of the 2005 list covering the subject matter of the source of information Groups should use in identifying masts. The Instructions and Advice (IA) documents are as follows:

IA 030205 – Sources of Information;

IA 091205 – Unassessed Masts – Sources of Information;

IA 220296 – Mast FORs – Storage of Rental Information (R2000 & R2005)

Each of these are now contained within the following section and should you have any queries regarding the content then these should be emailed to Mast Advice – using the IA reference in the subject field.

B) Instructions and Advice (IA’s)

The following IA’s have now been archived however the content remains relevant and is reproduced to provide groups with all the information required within a single Practice Note:

IA 030205 – Sources of Information

A Introduction

ii) IA 091205 – Unassessed Masts – Sources of Information

A) Introduction

It is believed that a significant number of telecommunication masts are still not assessed for non-domestic rates. A figure of up to 10,000 has been suggested in the UK. Investigations have been ongoing to find ways of identifying these to enable Groups to take action to bring them into the Rating Lists.

These investigations have included writing to each mast operator and to Ofcom as well as to large mast landlords such as Water Companies for example. Unfortunately the operators and Ofcom have declined to provide full schedules of all the mast sites. Some success has been achieved with major landlords however. This has resulted so far in the creation of 198 spreadsheets listing 11239 addresses and research is ongoing. It has also been noted during research that many transactions (e.g. PD’s) involving mast operators are not linked to an assessment. Advice is provided on arrangements to avoid this in future.

The profile of the problem of un-assessed masts has been raised recently with Parliamentary Questions and press queries. It is important that GVO’s can respond by showing they are taking positive action to find all the un-assessed sites and bring them into rating.

B) Actions

As mentioned above, spreadsheets have been sent to all Groups listing potential locations where a telecommunication mast may be located and is un-assessed. These spreadsheets were sent with a request that the amount of new RV be entered on them and returned to David Barrow via e-mail. In case any spreadsheets have been misplaced protected copies have been files in the P drive at P/TELECOMMUNICATIONS/mastsearch.

Very few spreadsheets have been returned at present and from 1st January 2006, therefore, all Groups should submit a monthly return to David Barrow by e-mail showing the new masts brought into assessment during the previous month and the total new RV raised. The first return should cover the period from 1st April 2005. To assist in this David will send a blank spreadsheet to each Group Mast Specialist to enable them to save this as a template and make the return in a standard format. This return should be submitted by the 7th day of the next month and nil returns are required.

Part of the research has been to identify transactions involving telecommunication operators or mast operating companies and to identify a matching entry in the Rating List by using the postcode. It has become clear during this exercise that here are many entries in the RSA system, which are in effect duplicates, but are not linked to the live assessment. This problem arises because on first receipt of a PD the transaction is recorded using the address on the PD and in many cases the postcode will be an informed guess. If the transaction is also recorded in the ORI system and recognised as needing a VOR to investigate the entry in the Rating list is made with a different, more accurate, address, frequently using another postcode.

The result of this is that some transactions are not recognised as needing to be investigated as potential mast sites, with a consequent loss of RV, while in other cases the mast site is assessed but not linked to the rental information. This also results in wasted resources entering an address twice in the List, and unnecessary use of memory to store a dead address.

To overcome this it is suggested that local arrangements are made that any PD referring to the land as a site for a mast or similar wording, or where either party is a mast operator (e.g. Crown Castle or Ntl) or a telecommunication operator (e.g. Orange, Airwave or MMO2) should be referred to the Group mast specialist before entry in the system. The site can then be investigated and if appropriate entered in the Rating List with the market information forming part of the same RSA entry.

It has also been found that where masts are not completed at the date of inspection the BAR has been “no actioned” with a request to resubmit. It is suggested that such masts should be recorded on the Process Improvement, Consequential spreadsheet which is set up for this purpose and the site re-inspected in a further 2 months time.

iii) IA 220206 – Mast FORs – Storage of Rental Information (R2000 & R2005)

1) Introduction

1.1 In August 2005 IA 030805 outlined the revised procedures for the issuing of singular Forms of Return to Mobile Phone and Mast Operators, which included a general amnesty. This IA now revokes that previous instruction and provides up to date procedural advice for the issuing of FORs for this category of property (SCAT Code 066).

2) Immediate Action – MIU

2.1 CEO has received a number of MERI returns but you are advised that we are not yet able to automatically transfer the data to the Central Database.

2.2 In the circumstances the information is being held on P-drive/Telecommunications/New Meri/New Meri Infor/name of operator.

2.3 Full rent returns (VO 6050) should not be issued for any site included on a MERI return until further notice, other than in exceptional circumstances, such as litigation.Those operators that have made a MERI return are:Hutchison 3G;T-Mobile (see below); Orange;Arqiva (previously ntl:Broadcast)

2.4 The information contained on the MERI relates only to assessments that were shown in the list in August 2005 and a full Form of Return will still need to be sent out on any NEW assessments.

3) T-Mobile

3.1 The return from T-Mobile is slightly complex in that they have transferred the majority of their Masts to either National Grid Wireless (NGW) or Arqiva (formerly ntl:Broadcast).

3.2 In the circumstances the data has been filed separately in the T Mobile folder as follows:a)T-Mobile – These are the sites that remain in their control and for which they have supplied rental information;b) T-Mobile NGW – These are the sites that have been transferred to NGW, who are now the HOST (see section 5.* below for further guidance on NGW);c)T-Mobile Arq – These are the sites that have been transferred to Arqiva.

3.3 As outlined above Arqiva have provided rental details of Masts that were in assessment as at August 2005. That information relates specifically to Arqiva and does not include any properties they have subsequently acquired from T Mobile, see below.

4 MERI Data

4.1 The companies mentioned in 2.3 above have submitted returns in respect of those masts that are currently in assessment and it is accepted that the information provided on the MERI is the minimum we require to analyse the rents and is therefore sufficient for our purposes.

4.2 Prior to the issuing of a Form of Return in respect of those operators mentioned in 2.3 above, both caseworker’s and MIUs should satisfy themselves that the information has not already been provided on the latest MERI returns on the P-drive.

5) Action Required on Other Operators

5.1 It is now considered appropriate that local offices and MIU’s should review the rental details held on masts operated by these other operators who have not provided a MERI return, including: a) Vodafone;b) MmO2; c) National Grid Wireless (formerly Gridcom and Crown Castle); and d) T-Mobile now transferred to NGW or Arqiva

5.2 MIU’s and caseworkers should review the records maintained during the amnesty, (see paragraph 4 of IA 030805), specifically for hereditaments operated by those listed at 4.1 above. Where it is clearly apparent that the information is incomplete or historic, arrangements should be made for a full rent return (VO 6050) to be issued and it is recommended they be tracked to civil penalty.

6) Queries