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A former Ipswich BC gardener reached the end of the legal road today in a battle over the right to buy his home at ...
A former Ipswich BC gardener reached the end of the legal road today in a battle over the right to buy his home at living at Alexandra Park Lodge, Grove Lane, Ipswich. An appeal
court judge in London ruled that he had no right to buy the property and must leave it.
Lady justice Hale was told that Andrew Coleman began work with the council as a 'Young Garden Labourer' in 1973 and was promoted to 'Gardener' in 1976. In 1985 he accepted the
council's offer of accommodation at the premises in Alexandra Park and continued to work as a gardener until 1995, when he took voluntary redundancy on health grounds.
In the court of appeal today, John Lofthouse, counsel for Mr Colemen, sought permission to appeal against a Colchester County Court ruling by Judge Brandt in November last year
that Ipswich BC was entitled to evict Mr Lofthouse from the property on the basis that the house went with the job. The judge held it was entitled to reject his application
to purchase the freehold under the 'right to buy' provisions of the 1985 Housing Act.
Mr Lofthouse argued that it could not be said that an employee was required to occupy premises for the better performance of his duties when the occupation was voluntary.
He said Mr Coleman's house had been granted to employees of varying
seniority from time to time and that it had plainly not been kept for the groundsman/gardener type of employee.
The evidence was that whoever occupied the premises was expected to perform certain duties, but no-one was told 'you now have this job - you must live in that house'.
However, dismissing the application for leave to appeal, Lady justice Hale said the contract of employment required Mr Coleman to occupy the premises for 'the better performance of
his duties'.
He was not a secure tenant and in those circumstances was not entitled to seek to purchase the property under the 'right to buy' legislation.
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