The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (1st defendant/appellant) v Smith (claimant/respondent) and another

Thursday 4 May 2023

The Secretary of State appeals the decision of Kerr J. to quash the decision dated 22 March 2022 of the Inspector, appointed by the Appellant, directing that any redetermination will be by a different inspector, and ordering costs in favour of the Respondent.

The Respondent had applied unsuccessfully to Hackney Council for permission to erect an “externally illuminated advertisement wrap” (a billboard with lights around it) in Shoreditch High Street. The Respondent appealed to the Secretary of State who appointed an inspector. The Appeal failed and the Respondent sought statutory review. The main issue was whether the inspector unlawfully sub-delegated his functions to an inexperienced junior officer, whose recommendations and reasoning he adopted without alternation; and whether that was an unfair process.

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