In the First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber case of Bowerswood House Retirement Home Ltd v Revenue & Customs  the appellant owned the retirement home Bowerswood House near Preston. Within the grounds was a swimming pool enclosed by a large conservatory-type covering (“the Conservatory”). The swimming pool was originally an outdoor pool, built before a nursing home was opened on the site when Bowerswood House was a private dwelling, with the Conservatory being added at a later date so that residents of the nursing home could use it.
The Conservatory fully enclosed the swimming pool using an existing wall and three later walls which included Upvc windows and polycarbonate sheeting.
The case concerned the appellant’s entitlement to capital allowances in relation to the Conservatory including whether the Conservatory was plant for the purposes of capital allowances.
The issues were:
(1) Was the Conservatory a building? If so, no capital allowances were available unless it fell within section 23(2) or List C of Capital Allowances Act 2001 (“CAA 2001”);
(2) Was the Conservatory a structure? If so, no capital allowances were available unless it fell within section 23(2) or List C;
(3) If the Conservatory was not a building or a structure, did it otherwise fall within the meaning of “plant”?
The Tribunal said an open air swimming pool would be of less utility to a nursing home than an indoor swimming pool but an open air swimming pool was not necessarily useless to a nursing home.
It was hard to describe the Conservatory without using the word “structure”. It performed the functions of a building. The Conservatory was plainly a building or a fixed structure and was excluded from capital allowances by sections 21 or 22 CAA 2001.
Those sections were not disapplied by section 23 because the Conservatory did not, in fact, fall within section 23(2) or List C.
As the Conservatory was a building or a structure, it was unnecessary to decide whether it fell within the meaning of “plant”.
This blog has been posted out of general interest. It does not replace the need to get bespoke legal advice in individual cases.