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JUDICIAL REVIEW GRANTED OVER EPILEPTIC'S HOUSING PRIORITY

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Case no: CO/1642/96 ...
Case no: CO/1642/96

A couple who say Brighton BC 'irrationally' refused to give them priority on the town's housing waiting list, today won the right to a full high court review of their case.

Kevin Burrell is epileptic - suffering an average of two seizures each week - and his wife Patricia has learning difficulties which means she can neither read nor write.

The couple are currently living in a bed and breakfast, but on March 14 the borough council threatened to turn them out, saying that they were neither 'vulnerable', nor in 'priority need'.

Their counsel, Manjit Gill, today claimed that the council had failed to give 'adequate or intelligible reasons' for its decision, which he condemned as 'irrational'.

And Mr Justice Latham took little time to declare that the couple had 'arguable' grounds for complaint, opening the way for a full judicial review of their case.

He said the question arose of whether the council had adequately considered the couple's 'cumulative disabilities' before reaching its decision.

Mr and Mrs Burrell are at the moment living at bed and breakfast accommodation paid for by the council.

And, after the judge's decision, Rajit Bhose, for the council, gave his assurance that the couple would continue to be accommodated pending the outcome of the judicial review.

Mr Bhose had defended the rationality of the council's decision, saying that it had not been shown that the Burrells would suffer 'more than most' as a result of being refused housing priority.

The judge ordered an 'expedited' hearing of the case, for which no date has yet been set.

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