R (Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd) v First Secretary of State [2005] EWCA Civ 520, [2005] NPC 60

27 Jun 2019

Planning and Environment

Lisa appeared for the respondent in the Secretary of State’s appeal against a decision ([2004] EWHC 1726 (Admin)) quashing his refusal of planning permission for the expansion of an out-of-town supermarket.

The Secretary of State had concluded in his decision letter that permission should be refused as he was not satisfied that quantitative need for the supermarket had been established.

The Judge in the Administrative Court accepted the respondent’s argument that the Secretary of State’s decision was vitiated by error of law, as he had wrongly excluded overtrading as an indicator of quantitative need. The Court of Appeal, allowing the Secretary of State’s appeal, held that it was not for the Courts to strike down a Secretary of State’s decision if it was intelligible and free from any relevant errors or deficiencies.