February 25th, 2015 by James Goudie KC

R (Silus Investements) v Hounslow LBC (2015) EWHC 358 (Admin) the Claimant’s grounds of challenge included breach of a legitimate expectation of consultation.  The Council had represented that there would be consultation on the proposed designation of a Conservation Area.  Therefore it had of course to comply with the minimum standards of a lawful consultation procedure, as expressed in Gunning/Coughlan, and recently approved by the Supreme Court in Moseley. Lang J found that those standards had not been met.  First, the consultation notice was not accompanied by “sufficient reasons for particular proposals to give intelligent consideration and an intelligent response”.  The summary and details given were “too brief and superficial to provide for a meaningful consultation”: para 54.  Second, a 7 day consultation period was too short for consultation to work fairly or effectively, para 55.  Third, the product of consultation was not “conscientiously taken into account”, because the decision was made before all the consultation responses were received: para 57.  There had been unfairness.

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