FOI request (FOIR-354038131)
Planning application HS/CD/18/00197
Requested Wed 04 August 2021
Responded Fri 27 August 2021
Regarding 'HS/CD/18/00197 | Discharge of Conditions: 3 (Hard Landscaping), 4 (Soft Landscaping), 6 (Materials), 8 (Drainage Details), and 12 (Vision splay) of planning permission HS/FA/17/00468. | 23 Martineau Lane, Hastings, TN35 5DS'.
Under FOI or otherwise, please send me a copy of counsel's advice of circa June 2021 in respect of the revocation of condition 3 of HS/CD/18/00197. I also request related correspondence.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
The information you have requested relating to Counsels advice 'HS/CD/18/00197 | Discharge of Conditions: 3 (Hard Landscaping), 4 (Soft Landscaping), 6 (Materials), 8 (Drainage Details), and 12 (Vision splay) of planning permission HS/FA/17/00468. | 23 Martineau Lane, Hastings, TN35 5DS' is exempt information under Section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act - Legal Professional Privilege.
Information is exempt if it is protected by Legal Professional Privilege, this applies to communications between a professional legal advisor and a client from being disclosed. The information you have requested has been provided to us by a professional legal advisor for the purpose of advice. We therefore consider the information you have requested to be exempt information by virtue of the provisions of the Act.
The exemption afforded by Section 42 is subject to what is known as the 'public interest test'. When applying the test in a particular case a public authority is deciding whether the public interest is better served by non-disclosure than by disclosure.
Although the Freedom of Information Act does not define 'in the public interest', there is a presumption under Freedom of Information that openness is in the public interest. In applying the public interest test a public authority will take into account the distinction that has been often made by courts between things that are in the public interest, and things that merely interest the public. Where applicants have not identified public interest considerations succinctly or accurately, the public authority has a responsibility under the Act to make their own assessment of the public interest considerations in the particular case.
We have identified the following public interest factors that may be seen as encouraging the disclosure of information:
a) furtherance of understanding and participation in the public debate of issues of the day
b) promotion of accountability and transparency by public authorities in the decision they make and the spending of public
We consider these factors to be of limited relevance in relation to the information in question.
Public interest factors seen as encouraging non-disclosure are, generally, the exemptions themselves. In consideration of this matter we came to the following conclusions:
a) release of the information would prejudice the Council's position
b) the impact (beneficial or otherwise) of disclosure upon individuals and/or the wider public
c) the likelihood and severity of any harm or prejudice that disclosure could cause
d) the significance or sensitivity of the information
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the applicant and the wider public of disclosure is outweighed by the likely prejudice caused by such disclosure and that therefore the public interest is better served by non-disclosure.
For the reasons given above we will not be communicating to you the information you have requested.
Freedom of Information