Kensington wins review

Cyril Dixon reports

THE COURT of Appeal has cleared the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea of unreasonable behaviour towards a tenant seeking council accommodation.

Three Lords ruled that the authority did not have an obligation to explain why it felt the woman's medical needs suited her to a seventh-floor flat.

The woman was offered the flat, but turned it down because the lift was not working and she would have to climb flights of stairs while pushing a pram.

The borough said its statutory duty had been discharged by offering her the flat, but she appealed unsuccessfully at an internal council hearing.

The woman then sought judicial review on the grounds that the offer was unreasonable, and that the housing department had failed to explain why it thought the flat met her medical needs.

However, Lords Justice Neill, Hirst and Roch said the courts should not impose an obligation on authorities to give reasons for decisions if Parliament has not done so before.