ICO require Wirral Council to release 94 page draft agreement with Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited about Hoylake Golf Resort
Updated 27.2.18 with an amendment to paragraph 3 of the decision notice following First-tier Tribunal (information rights) case EA/2017/0191.
Edited 10.8.17 by JB to include text of decision notice below images of pages
ICO have required Wirral Council to disclose 94 pages of a draft development agreement between itself and the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited in respect of the proposed golf course, hotel and residential property in Hoylake. This project is known as the Hoylake Golf Resort and the proposed development involves the sale of and leasing of Wirral Council owned land to the developer.
Wirral Council have 35 calendar days (from the 7th August 2017) to provide the information or alternatively they can appeal ICO’s decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) within 28 days.
ICO ruled that a further 29 pages of legal advice that Wirral Council received from Pinsent Masons about the Hoylake Golf Resort project did not need to be disclosed.
You can read the full 14 page decision notice (FER0672223) below.
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)
|Date:||7 August 2017|
|Public Authority:||Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council|
|134 Boundary Road|
Decision (including any steps ordered)
- The complainant has requested information relating to the Hoylake Golf Resort Project. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council withheld the information under the exceptions for the course of justice (regulation 12(5)(b)) and commercial confidentiality (regulation 12(5)(e)).
- The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has correctly applied regulation 12(5)(b) to withhold some of the requested information but failed to demonstrate that regulation 12(5)(e) is engaged.
The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation.
● Disclose pages 43-146 of the Private Document Pack.
The Tribunal requires Wirral Metropolitan Council to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation –
Disclose the Amended Annotated Development Agreement at pages 256 – 351 of the Closed Bundle prepared for the appeal hearing, save the passages annotated in green and any marginal green notes, which may be withheld. The Commissioner’s order at paragraph 2 of the Decision Notice stands.
- The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.