CAAV to put Shropshire and Montgomeryshire valuers on the map

IMG_2860 (4)Shropshire and Montgomeryshire are most often famed for the now defunct Light Railway – but now one man is hoping to put them on the map for something altogether different.

For these rolling green counties in the heart of Britain are home to over 100 professional agricultural valuers, who are responsible for managing vast swaths of farmland, advising landowners, tenants and others, and giving practical advice to the government when it comes to policy making.

And the man who’s seeking to put these professionals on the map is Geoff Coster – the new Junior Vice President of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. “Our members do so much good work, but it’s often behind-the-scenes; I want to spend some of my time on the new presidential team highlighting what they offer.”

As the Senior Agricultural Valuation Specialist at the Valuation Office Agency, Mr Coster brings to the presidential team a valuable insight into the workings of the public sector. “As CAAV members act for every side of rural valuation – whether landlord, tenant, utility company or HMRC – it’s good to be able to provide a bridge between these two worlds,” he says.

“When advising the government, the CAAV’s objective is not to take sides but to try and produce practical, workable solutions to implement policy, taking into account the balance between public requirements and private interests in land.”

Land use in Shropshire and Montgomeryshire is extremely diverse, and members’ expertise reflects that, says local chairman Richard Evans, auctioneer at Morris Marshall and Poole. “Our members offer everything from valuing livestock to advising on the compulsory purchase of land for major new roads, as well as tax planning, land management and renewable energy projects.”

The local branches organise events and meetings to keep members and other professionals like accountants and solicitors abreast of the latest issues, and to help members prepare for the gruelling CAAV exams. “The CAAV exam is a tough two-day practical assessment,” says Mr Evans. “It’s the most important exam rural professionals will ever take and Fellows displaying the FAAV letters are widely recognised as providing a service that’s second to none. With the uncertainties ahead posed by Brexit, offering such experience to policy makers and landowners alike will be more important than ever.”

Stepping up to the Senior Vice President’s role will be James Dick; a sole practitioner near Aberdeen, with Nick Millard; Partner at Michelmore Hughes in Devon, becoming the President.