By Matthew Forrest
External facing supermarket cash machines are not to be separately assessed for business rates, the Court of Appeal has ruled today in Cardtronics Europe Ltd (and others) v Sykes and others  EWCA Civ 2472.
The Court had to decide the correct legal approach to the rating of external ATMs in supermarkets, shops and petrol filling stations. In such cases, the ATM operator is different to the occupier of the shop premises in which it is situated. Valuation officers had argued that these ATMs were separate units of assessment (known as “hereditaments”) for business rates purposes. On the other hand, the supermarkets claimed the ATM sites should be assessed together with the shop premises as a whole.