FOI request (FOIR-182192457)
England Coast Path - Eastbourne to Camber - Consultation with Natural England
Requested Tue 10 March 2020
Responded Thu 09 April 2020
The England Coast Path proposal was published recently. The England Coast Path passes through Hastings Country Park in the section EBC 5. The route of the path and the coastal margin has been agreed by Natural England and HBC.
I request under EIR all information held covering correspondence/consultations between NE and HBC concerning the coastal path route through Hastings Country Park. Information should include all forms of communication, documents and reports.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Under Environmental Information Regulations the information requested to obtain correspondence/consultations between Natural England and Hastings Borough Council concerning the coastal path route through Hastings Country Park is exempt under Exception 12(4)(d) 'Information in the course of completion, unfinished documents and incomplete data'.
Exception 12(4)(d) is subject to a public interest test. This means that a public authority can refuse to disclose information under these exceptions if in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Factors for disclosure:
a. Transparency and accountability
Factors against disclosure:
a. Natural England are currently going through a statutory period for representations and objections and the release of this information would have an adverse effect. This information will not be released until the Secretary of State has agreed the report for this stretch.
b. An authority will argue that it needs 'safe space' in which to do discuss material away from public scrutiny and that disclosing this material would harm that safe space.
c. Should the information be disclosed it would give a misleading or inaccurate impression.
The public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information
Freedom of Information