R (Baker) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2008] EWCA Civ 141

28 February 2008

Link to judgment

Discrimination grounds

Summary of case
The case concerned a decision of the Secretary of State’s Inspector to dismiss appeals against the refusal by the London Borough of Bromley to grant applications for planning permission for a number of touring caravans and mobile homes.

The Court found that the failure by the planning inspector to make explicit reference to section 71(1) of the RRA was not determinative of the question whether she had performed her duty under the Act. However, the Court judged that it was good practice to make such reference to the Act and to all other relevant material including the Code of Practice, observing: ‘In this way, the decision maker is more likely to ensure that the relevant factors are taken into account and the scope for argument as to whether the duty has been performed will be reduced.’ It found that there had been no breach of the Duty as the inspector had had due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity. It was ‘immaterial’ whether or not she was aware of the existence of the Race Equality Duty.

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