July 28th, 2014 by James Goudie KC

In IM Properties Development Ltd v Lichfield District Council [2014] EWHC  440 (Admin) Patterson J held that an e-mail sent by a committee chairman to members of the same political party telling them to vote in a particular manner fell within Section 25(2) of the Localism Act 2011 and was not to be taken as a predetermination.  She found, at para 86, that the tenor of the e-mail was not “so strident” as to remove the discretion on the part of the recipient as to how he or she would vote.  Patterson J added: “The debate shows a far reaching discussion between members and displays no evidence of closed minds in relation to the decisions that had to be taken”; and “A fair minded and reasonable observer in possession of all the facts would not be able to conclude on the basis of all the evidence that there was any real possibility of predetermination as a result of the e-mail …”.

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