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BRDO Makes First Primary Authority Determination

February 19, 2015

greggsThe Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) has resolved a dispute over interpretation of the law between two local authorities by issuing the first primary authority determination since the scheme was launched in 2008.

The case concerned a challenge to advice issued to high street baker Greggs by primary authority Newcastle City Council, regrading the provision of toilets in their retail premises. Kingston upon Hull City Council had required Greggs to provide toilets on two of their retail premises within the council’s area, using powers contained in Section 20 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976. The result of the determination centered around the definition of ‘relevant place‘ contained in the act. Having carefully considered all representations and evidence, BRDO concluded that advice issued by Newcastle City Council was correct for the purposes of Schedule 4 Paragraph 1(3) of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008.

The main reasons for the decision were:

  • The advice was soundly based upon the purpose and content of the disputed provision, and represented an informed and professional view of the law
  • It was consistent with relevant case-law
  • Evidence demonstrated that since June 2011 the advice issued by Newcastle City Council has been accepted by other local authorities as reflecting a reasonable and proportionate interpretation of Section 20 of the 1976 Act.

Information provided by Greggs stated that the matter had saved the company having to redesign its shops throughout the country at a cost of £55 million.