- Unsuccessful cost-benefit judicial review challenge to local authority decisions (R (on the application of Clarke) v Birmingham City Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: The claimant challenged a decision of a local authority to retrofit its tower blocks with sprinklers, so as to address concerns about fire risks in light of the Grenfell tower tragedy. The claimant argued that the cost of the work was unreasonable when compared to the nature of the risk and any benefit to be derived from the work. The court dismissed the claim. In the absence of matters specified in legislation for a decision-maker to take into account, it was for the public authority to decide what considerations that they take account of in making decisions, and the weight to place on them, subject to the requirement that the decision should not be irrational. There was no arguable basis on which the authority’s decision in this case could be challenged for irrationality. Written by Denis Edwards, barrister at Normanton Chambers.
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