Metropole (Folkstone) appealed against a decision of the Customs commissioners that the supply of works to replace the balcony of a listed building was standard rated for VAT purposes. Metropole was a company representing the flat owners who had purchased the freehold to a listed building. Once Metropole purchased the freehold, the company set out restoring the building.

On the third floor of the building was a balcony. The balcony had been inspected by a surveyor who advised to demolish it as an emergency measure as it had become unsafe. Metropole did so. Metropole was then required to replace the demolished balcony by the local council architect. Metropole did so using modern materials and incorporated some additional features to ensure the structural integrity of the balcony. However, visually the new balcony was identical to the original balcony that had been demolished.

Was the replacement of the balcony zero-rated or standard rated for the purposes of VAT?