§ Mr. Giles Shaw
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if his Department issues guidance to rating valuation officers as to how they should assess aircraft noise in relation to the rating of properties close to airports; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will publish in the Official Report a list of those local authorities which currently provide either reduced rateable values or rate rebates on properties affected by aircraft noise.
§ Mr. Guy Barnett
Under the provisions of the General Rate Act 1967 the valuation officers of the Inland Revenue are responsible for assessing the rateable values of properties in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Act. Other interested parties, including the owners or occupiers of property or the local134W authority, are entitled to appeal to the local valuation court against values proposed by the valuation officer or to make their own proposals at any time; for example, if they consider that the value of a property may have been affected by aircraft noise. I have no powers to direct the valuation officers as to what account they should take of any particular factor such as aircraft noise, and it would be improper for me to seek to guide them on this. I have no comprehensive information as to how far aircraft noise may in fact have affected rateable values in different parts of the country. Under the statutory rate rebate scheme the grant of rate rebate by a local authority to the residential occupier of a private dwelling depends on his needs and resources and the rates payable. Entitlement to a rebate is not affected by the situation of the property or such factors as aircraft noise.