FOI request (FOIR-118604273)
Rocklands detailed plan for management of land stability as specified by caravan site
Requested Mon 13 May 2019
Responded Thu 04 July 2019
The Rocklands caravan site licence issued in April 2018 stipulates that:
9) The licensee shall within 6 weeks of the date of issue of the licence (or any other timeframe subsequently agreed by the licensing authority), submit for the written approval of the licensing authority a detailed plan produced by a competent person for the management of land stability within the caravan site.
The plan shall include details of:-
1. Regular visual inspections to identify and monitor signs of land instability affecting the caravan site and infra-structure (including the foul drainage system), to be carried out by the licensees and/or their staff at least every month and also following severe weather events.
2. Circumstances identified through the regular inspections that will trigger the need for a competent person to be consulted for additional advice (for example if signs of land instability are recorded near to vulnerable site infra-structure or caravans).
3. Contingency measures to be implemented to ensure the safety of any occupants and visitors to the site in the event of further serious land slips occurring.
4. Proposals to mitigate the risk of the foul drainage system being compromised by slope instability.
5. Contingency measures to be implemented to safeguard people on the site and the natural environment, in the event of serious land slips compromising the foul drainage system. Such measures shall include details of rapid action to isolate and pump out and contain effluent from the damaged sections of the foul drainage system to prevent pollution of the adjacent ground and ground waters."
I formally request under EIR the following:
Please supply the date that the detailed plan documents were submitted.
Please confirm that HBC holds copies of the detailed plan documents
Please supply a list of the documents supplied to HBC for the detailed plan
Please supply copies of the detailed plan documents
Please provide the date HBC gave written approval to the detailed plan
Please provide the implementation date of the detailed plan
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Under the terms of the site licence for Rocklands Caravan Park records submitted to the council in connection with the land management plan are strictly confidential. This request is therefore being refused under Environmental Information Regulations the information requested is exempt under Section 12(5)(e) 'Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest'
We have considered the following:- Is the information commercial or industrial- Is the information subject to confidentiality provided by law- Is the confidentiality protecting a legitimate economic interest- Would disclosure adversely affect the confidentiality
Section 12(5)(e) 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:- Transparency and accountability
Factors against disclosure:- Adverse effect on the economic interest of the owners of Rocklands Caravan Park- Maintaining commercial confidences- The release of this information could lead to further harassment to the owners- Correspondence is clearly marked strictly confidential- If the information is disclosed it could be used to seek harm on the owners commercial interests- Were such information disclosed, then it could be used by competitors and potential purchasers to the owners financial detriment.In all circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
Hastings Borough Council are also relying on Exception 12(5)(b) The course of justice and inquiries.
Regulation 12(5)(b) provided an exception from disclosure of environmental information which adversely affect the course of justice. This has a wide meaning and public authorities can consider claiming this exception when they receive requests for:- material covered by legal professional privilegeThe course of justice has a wide meaning but includes material covered by legal professional privilege - correspondence from an external lawyer to a client and confidential communication between them about that advice.Exception 12(5)(b) 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:- Transparency and accountabilityFactors against disclosure:- Maintaining confidences, the correspondence is clearly marked 'strictly confidential'.- Information in relation to certain conditions of the caravan site licence are confidential.- The release of the information could lead to further harassment to the owners.
The factors against disclosure outweigh those in favour therefore this information will not be disclosed.
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