This is the judgment of the Court of Appeal in which Patrick Cannon represented the appellants who sought to establish a workmanlike and coherent meaning of the phrase “grounds of a building” within the definition of “residential property” for SDLT purposes in section 116(1)(b) FA 2003. The Court of Appeal declined to place an objective limit on the meaning of “grounds” and said that this was a matter of policy with which the Court was not concerned.
The Court did however acknowledge that “there will be cases in which there is room for reasonable disagreement” and this may provide taxpayers with some assistance in appropriate cases. This was said in the context of various practical situations that Patrick Cannon presented to the Court. These examples included (1) land acquired with a dwelling that bore no functional relationship to, or conferred any benefit on, the dwelling; (2) the grounds of a dwelling on which a bona fide commercial activity was occurring; and (3) a garden in which sat an electrical substation owned and operated by a utility company.
You can read the full decision here
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For professional and insurance reasons Patrick is unable to offer any advice until he has been formally instructed.