A blind man with hearing difficulties has forced a council into paying £2,500 to charity after he claimed the authority did not comply with disability legislation.

Colin Bennett, 66, of Lansdowne Place, Hove, complained in early 2005 that Brighton and Hove City Council had breached the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) by not providing working induction loops at Brighton and Hove town halls.

Mr Bennett, who was also awarded £1,500, said eight rooms did not have functioning induction loops or an infra-red system which pick up sounds and feed them into headphones or hearing-aids.

In 2006, the council agreed to commission an independent survey by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to find out what equipment was required.

But while the council claimed that the inspection gave it a clean bill of health, Mr Bennett insisted that the council had still broken the law.

The council continued to dismiss allegations and after two years of legal wranglings, both parties have now agreed to a Tomlin Order, avoiding a trial and a verdict on the case.

As a result, the council has agreed to pay Mr Bennett, who suffers from Usher Syndrome, a genetic condition which means people are born deaf or hard of hearing then gradually start to lose their sight, £1,500 to cover his costs, £1,250 to National Deafblind and Rubella Association and Deafblind International.

But the council and Mr Bennett have yet to agree to a joint statement.

Mr Bennett, whose campaign was backed by former Labour councillor Roy Pennington and Tory Geoff Wells, said: "All I wanted the council to do they have done and I didn't want to push them into a corner.

"I do think that some people hope I would walk in the path of a 49 bus sometimes but I have become a campaigner on these issues because people do not challenge these problems enough.

"Although there has been no guilty verdict, I believe it has been a success."

A spokeswoman for the city council said: "An independent survey carried out by the RNID last year found that the council had loops and hearing systems in our public rooms and that they were working satisfactorily.

"However, in the interests of preventing further costs being incurred by council taxpayers, the parties have agreed to stay the claim.

"The case has brought about welcome improvements for the hearing impaired to the council chambers and committee room areas at Brighton and Hove town halls. The parties hope that this spirit of cooperation will continue.

"Upgrading and improving these facilities were and continue to be part of the council's plans to improve facilities for disabled people in council buildings."

To view a full history of the case visit Mr Bennett's blog at bennettsworld.blogspot.com