The case itself is a curious one, and one that I am sure many an academic will actually be foaming at the mouth to take apart.
But my real interest this time is what Southwark did. They failed to respond to the initial application for a right to buy by Mr H back in 1997. They quite simply should have acknowledged or denied his claim within 4 weeks of receipt of the RTB application. End of story.
Instead we are here a decade later, and for Southwark probably £50,000 - 100,000 (I'm guessing towards the latter figure NLegal) more poor, with this decision.
I wont say it was maladministration by the council, for a variety of reasons. But whatever the reason, the wrong decision was taken then. Maybe they were protecting their stock? You never now with council's. That is probably a side issue I suppose. But the moral from all this is...know your time limits, and adhere to them. It makes it all soo much easier.
[I did originally give a summary of this case, but it makes me grouchy so the links below will take you to:-
The full text version - http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2008/624.html
Doughty Chambers' review - http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/news_detail.cfm?iNewsID=262