North British Railway Company Company v Greig

CourtCourt of Session (Inner House - First Division)
Judgment Date20 March 1866
Date20 March 1866
Docket NumberNo. 125
2D DIVISION, and three Judges of 1st Division.

Lord Kinloch. I.

No. 125
North British Railway Co. &c.

Valuation-roll—Railway Refreshment-Rooms—Public Burden—Poor-rates.


THIS was a suspension and interdict brought by the North British Railway Company and by John Menzies, John Foote, Robert Young, and Henry Henderson, of a threatened charge by the City Parish of Edinburgh for payment of poor-rates alleged to be due by the railway company as proprietors, and by the other suspenders as tenants of certain cab-stands, refreshment-rooms, and book-stalls, situated at or near the station or works’ of the railway company, in the city of Edinburgh.

The ground of suspension was that the subjects in question formed part of the railway undertaking, and therefore fell to be, and had been, valued and assessed as part of the railway by the assessor of railways, in terms of section 21 of the Lands Valuation Act,1 and that the assessment now sought to be recovered was illegal, having been assessed by the burgh assessor upon the footing that the subjects were to be valued separately as lands and heritages within the burgh.

The suspenders pleaded;—(1) The subjects above specified having been included in the valuation of the assessor of railways and canals, and the complainers the North British Railway Company having paid the poor-rates therefor as above stated, they are entitled to suspension and interdict

as craved. (3) The said subjects were properly included in the valuation-roll by the assessor of railways and canals, the same being part of the North British Company's undertaking.

The respondents pleaded;—(1) The subjects in question having been duly valued by the assessor for the city, under the Act 17th and 18th Vict., cap. 91, and the assessment having been duly imposed according to his roll, under the Act 8th and 9th Vict., cap. 83, the complainers are bound to make payment respectively of said assessments. (3) The said subjects forming no part of the railway undertaking, the railway assessor was not entitled to include them in his valuation, and if he did so, it can form no ground for preventing the respondents obtaining payment of the assessments duly imposed according to the valuations made by the burgh assessor.

The refreshment-rooms, book-stalls, and cab-stances were described in a joint minute, in which the parties admitted—‘(1) That the refreshment-rooms belonging to the complainers, the North British Railway Company and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company, at the Waverley Station, are within the station, and are situated on the floor below the booking-offices of the station buildings, and are let at a yearly rent of L.250, whereof one-half is payable to the said complainers. And the refreshment-rooms at their Princes Street Station form the upper or street flat of one of the station buildings, and are within the station limits, and separate from, and unconnected with, the said complainers' booking-offices; they consist of four apartments, and are let to a tenant who pays a yearly rent of L.30 therefor, and has a license for them.

‘(2) That there are two book-stalls or shops at the Waverley Bridge and Princes Street Stations and one at the Scotland Street Station, all within the station walls, and on the platforms of the stations.

‘The one at Waverley Bridge Station, on the eastern side of the rails, is a wooden shop about fourteen feet long by ten feet wide, having a roof, with door and large window. The one at the Princes Street Station, on the northern side of the rails, is built of stone and lime, having two windows, and is situated underneath the booking-offices of the company, and is part of the station buildings. The one at the Scotland Street Station is more properly a stall or stand, and consists of a moveable wooden frame work placed against the booking-office or passengers' waiting-room. These stalls or shops, with the right to perambulate the station platforms to sell newspapers, books, and publications to passengers, are let at the following yearly rents, viz.:—The first at L.90, and the second and third at L.20 each.

‘(3) That the cab-stances are three in number. The one at the Waverley Bridge Station is a portion of the station within the station walls, and under cover, and is used alternately for station purposes and as a cab-stand. For the right to occupy this ground with cabs the tenant pays a rent of L.300. The one at Princes Street Station is a certain portion of the station (the cabs standing across the lines of railway), which is let as a stance for cabs and coaches waiting for hire. The one at Scotland Street Station is a portion of the ground belonging to the railway company, and is situated to the west of the booking-office; it is not covered in. Both stances are let to a tenant at a cumulo yearly rent of L.150.’

The parties renounced further probation.

The agreements under which the subjects were held were afterwards produced in the Inner-House, under an order of Court.

The agreement under which the Waverley Station refreshment-room was let was as follows:—‘The first parties agree to let, and the second party to take, on lease, for the purposes of a refreshment-room, the premises at the Waverley Station. …. on the following conditions:—(1) That the lease shall endure for five years from and after the term of Whitsunday 1864 (2) That the second party shall keep the rooms open during the running of the passenger trains, the hours being assumed to be from the earliest passenger train in the morning to the latest in the evening. (3) That the second party shall be at liberty to sell wines, spirits, ales, &c prices not exceeding those specified in the schedule hereunto annexed. (4) That the first parties shall be at liberty to object to, and order the discontinuance of, any particular kind of refreshment, on account of inferior quality, or any other objectionable cause. (5) That the first parties shall supply gas to the premises, to be paid for half-yearly by the second party. …. (6) That the refreshment-rooms shall only be open for the accommodation of persons travelling by the railway, and shall be subject to such regulations as may from time to time be issued by the first parties, and the second party shall comply with such order. (7) That the second party shall have the use of the furnishings in the rooms belonging to the first parties, and consisting of the carpet in the first-class room, thirty-six mahogany chairs, &c. on condition that the second party, at the termination of this lease, restores the same in the like good order and condition, ordinary tear and wear (being) excepted. (8) That the second party shall, within six months after the foresaid term of entry, expend the sum of L.100 in cleaning, &c. (9) That the yearly rent to be paid by the second party to the first parties for...

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