SLE responds to Balmoral sporting rates appeal

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Press Release

Scottish Land & Estates has responded to coverage by The National regarding the Balmoral and Buccleuch sporting rates appeal. You can find a statement from Head of Policy, Katy Dickson below, along with a letter sent to The National by SLE Chairman, David Johnstone. 

Katy Dickson, Head of Policy at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Rates have a huge impact on the viability and sustainability of businesses that contribute to local economies. It was disappointing that the reintroduction of rates on shooting rights and deer forests was not fully thought through. This has led to a less than satisfactory valuation process in which the Assessors had to work with little information in limited time.

“SLE and its membership have been engaged with the Assessors and Scottish Government from the outset and continue to work constructively with them. We want to see fair and consistent valuations, and transparent procedures. Anyone subject to rates follows the same valuation appeals processes.”

Letter to The National: 

Further to your coverage about Balmoral Estate’s sporting rates appeal, there are a few important points your readers should be aware of.

Rural land-based businesses in Scotland support thousands of jobs and help to sustain remote communities. Estates, the majority of which are small businesses, have always paid due rates on their business activities such workshops, offices and holiday properties.

All businesses are able to appeal their valuations in case of errors or inaccuracies. Around one-third of all valuation appeals on sporting rates is similar to other sectors and while waiting for appeal outcomes the bills are being paid. The appeals are also from tenants, crofters and farmers, who have been caught up in this process.

David Johnstone
Chairman, Scottish Land & Estates
Stuart House, Eskmills Business Park, Musselburgh, EH21 7PB