The Court of Appeal  EWCA Civ 159 allowed Tower Hamlets’ appeal against a decision that it was not entitled to revoke an inchoate homelessness determination. The council had found the claimant not to be eligible for assistance. While an appeal was pending against that decision it decided to withdraw it and to make a second decision concluding that the claimant was not in priority need. If she had been found eligible initially the council would have been bound to have found her to be in priority need, but her circumstances had changed by the time the second decision was made. The County Court judge held that the council should have found the claimant to be in priority need and not to be intentionally homeless, and he varied the first decision accordingly. The Court of Appeal accepted Tower Hamlet’s submission that he was not entitled to make the decision as to intentional homelessness, that the first decision was therefore inchoate, and that accordingly the second decision was effective. Priority need was to be judged as of that date.
Ashley Underwood QC represented the Council.