Home > Cases > Trafford LED lights JR fails

On 2 February the Court of Appeal upheld refusal of permission to apply for judicial review of decisions of Trafford Council to approve the award of a contract for the replacement of all existing street lighting luminaires in the Council’s network with Light Emitting Diode (‘LED’) luminaires.

In R (Nicholas) v Trafford Borough Council the claimant sought to challenge these decisions on a number of grounds including:

i.  The Council failed to assess the impacts of the chosen specification of LED luminaire on the natural environment;

ii.  The Procurement Decisions were not in accordance with the objectives of the Council’s own policy, namely the Trafford Street Lighting Strategy;

iii.  The Council failed to demonstrate that the business case in support of the Procurement Decisions is based on a luminaire specification which accords with the Trafford Street Lighting Strategy;

iv.  In the absence of a more robust assessment of the impacts of the LED roll-out on the natural environment and human health, the Procurement Decisions were a breach of the European Precautionary Principle;

v.  The Council acted irrationally by making the Procurement Decisions without satisfying itself that the LED roll-out would not have an unacceptable impact on the natural environment and human health.

In the High Court Jay J. refused permission on the papers on 28 July 2015  and ruled that the claim was totally without merit. The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal. Lloyd-Jones LJ on 2 February 2016 refused permission to appeal. Both Judges in addition to dealing with the merits ruled that the claim was out of time because CPR 54.5(6) applied as the challenge concerned the Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

James Maurici QC and Toby Fisher acted for Trafford Borough Council.

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