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Bradford (VO) v Vtesse Networks Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 16; [2010] RA 69.

DATE: 28 Jan 2010

The ratepayer challenged the rateable values of its telecommunications network on the basis that the valuation failed to take into account the rateable value of the comparable and competing fibre-optic network of BT

The Court of Appeal held (i) that the Lands Tribunal had not erred in holding that it was bound by a decision of the European Commission because the Lands Tribunal had decided the case on the footing of the evidence and had rejected the valuation case advanced on behalf of the ratepayer, (ii) although the Lands Tribunal's decision did not deal with the Ofcom 2008 report that report was not such a vital, a central or a significant element of the case that the Lands Tribunal was obliged to deal with it, (iii) the obligation of Member State to ensure that there was effective competition between operators in telecommunications markets did not require that the valuation officer must compare the position of other operators in the market with that of BT because whether such a comparison could usefully be made was an issue which had been raised and decided against the ratepayer by the Lands Tribunal, and (iv) the Lands Tribunal had not erred as to burden of proof because the Lands Tribunal decided the issue of valuation on the basis of the evidence not on the basis of burden of proof.