A FAMILY was today celebrating a landmark decision in the Appeal Court.
Judges in London decided that Calderdale Council had acted unlawfully in refusing a grant to modify a house to meet the needs of a disabled child and his family.
The 12-year-old boy, who is autistic, shared a bedroom with his brother.
His parents applied for a grant to build him a bedroom of his own, because his condition meant he was violent and aggressive to his brother.
But the council turned down the bid on the grounds that the problem was the child's behaviour and not the layout of the house.
Now, the Appeal Court has overturned the decision in a case brought by Huddersfield solicitors.
The court ruled that on the information available to the council, the application was one which clearly met the legal test for the award of a grant.
Judges ordered the council to reconsider its decision and pay the family's legal costs.
It is the first time the Appeal Court has ruled on the section of the 1996 Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act, which lays down requirements for councils.
Clive Yeadon, senior legal adviser at Huddersfield- based solicitors Ridley and Hall, said: "It may seem a dry and narrow point, but for this family the opportunity to have another bedroom is a lifeline to them. Like many families with children with disabilities, they have had to battle hard."