Ben Williams has succeeded in a claim for Judicial Review of a decision of the Secretary of State (BRDO) made pursuant to the Primary Authority scheme established through Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act (RESA) 2008. In February 2015, the BRDO made its first ever primary authority decision, that advice given to Greggs by Newcastle City Council pursuant to a primary authority partnership arrangement was correct. That advice had prevented Hull City Council officers from enforcing s.20 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 so as to require sanitary provision in two Gregg’s establishments. In a strongly contested claim, the BRDO, Newcastle City Council and Greggs all argued that the advice and subsequent decision was correct. Greggs had relied heavily on that advice which was first given in June 2011, and claimed that it could cost as much as £60million if they were made to install toilets at all their ‘food on the go’ branches. Mr Justice Kerr agreed wholeheartedly with Hull City Council’s challenge. He stated that Newcastle City Council had misinterpreted the law and had therefore given incorrect advice which had been wrongly endorsed by the BRDO. He quashed the BRDO’s decision and awarded Hull City Council’s legal costs be paid. This decision could have far reaching implications for the primary authority scheme going forward, although Mr Justice Kerr gave permission for the matter to proceed to the Court of Appeal, so it may be some time before the matter is closed.

If anyone would like further information about this case, please do not hesitate to contact Ben through his clerks.

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