Business Improvement District

March 5th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

In McGrath v Camden LBC (2020) EWHC 369 (Admin) a Divisional Court held that the Council’s omission to serve on ratepayers information specified by Schedule 4 to the Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004, S.I. 2004/2443, made under Section 49 of the Local Government Act 2003, at the same time as serving a demand notice for payment of a BID levy in Hampstead Village did not render the demand invalid. The statutory liability to pay the levy is not qualified by reference to any legislative requirement other than service of a demand notice.  Moreover, there is a distinction in Schedule 4 between what is required to be “contained in” a demand notice and what is required to be “supplied with” a demand notice.

In any event, where legislation requires a procedural step or action to be taken, but does not specify the legal consequences of a failure to comply with that requirement, the Court must construe the legislation in order to determine whether total invalidity was intended to follow.  Unless the answer to that question is in the affirmative, the Court must then ask whether the circumstances of the particular case indicate that invalidity should be the consequence. The answer to that question may be affected by (1) whether there has been “substantial compliance” with the requirement, or (2) whether the non-compliance has caused relevant “significant prejudice”.

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