The Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to a planning inspector's dismissal of an appeal against the refusal of planning permission to gypsy families to station their mobile homes on Green Belt land. The court was satisfied that in substance the inspector had had regard to the duty under section 71(1)(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976 to promote good race relations. A failure by the Inspector to make explicit reference to s.71(1) was not determinative of the question of whether she had performed her duty under the statute. She had taken account of needs of gypsies, compared to environmental needs etc.
Dyson LJ: it is important to emphasise that the s.71(1) duty is not a duty to achieve a result, namely to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination or to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups. It is a duty to have due regard to the need to achieve these goals. The distinction is vital… What is due regard? In my view, it is the regard that is appropriate in all the circumstances. These include on the one hand the importance of the areas of life of the members of the disadvantaged racial group that are affected by the inequality of opportunity and the extent of the inequality; and on the other hand, such countervailing factors as are relevant to the function which the decision-maker is performing.