Rights of Way notes

Hugh Craddock made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Planning Inspectorate

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Planning Inspectorate,

This request is made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Please would you supply me with copies of all rights of way notes issued since January 2000. By 'rights of way notes', I refer to the internal notes issued by the inspectorate (e.g. 5/2017 relates to the mechanism by which diverted rights of way come into existence in s.119 orders), and not to the 'advice notes' currently published online at www.gov.uk/government/collections/rights....

In order to avoid making the request burdensome, I am content if the response is confined to those notes which are currently held by the Inspectorate in electronic form. If it is more convenient to supply a number of notes in the same document, that would be acceptable.

I wish to have the information supplied in electronic form, by a response posted to the Whatdotheyknow.com web forum.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Craddock

Pritchard, Chris,

3 Atodiad

Dear Mr Craddock

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please find a response attached.

============================
Chris Pritchard
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House
2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

E-mail: [email address]
Telephone: 0303 444 5493
============================

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Planning Inspectorate

Thank you for Chris Pritchard's letter of 3 July under reference RFI 1807, responding to my request for information.

I agree that, on consideration, disclosure of the dataset for the period from the year 2000 onwards would involve considerable redaction of personal data. I also agree that the request is properly considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. But I do not think that the Inspectorate has properly determined my request under the 2004 Regulations. R.12(4)(b) enables a request to be refused only where, "the request for information is manifestly unreasonable", and then only subject to the requirement in r.12(1)(b) that, "in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information", and subject to the "presumption in favour of disclosure" in r.12(2). Moreover, the Information Commissioner has published guidance, derived from case law, which states that, "redaction cannot be included as part of the costs of extracting the requested information." I am far from convinced that the request fails the r.12 tests, but as the Inspectorate has not carried out the tests (or if it has, it has failed to document them in accordance with r.14(3)(b)), the refusal must plainly be unlawful.

However, I do not wish to unnecessarily divert resources. At this stage, I am therefore content to restrict my request to those rights of way notes issued since January 2015, also to exclude from scope any attachment not forming part of the text contained in the advice note itself (such as copies of Waymark or Byway and Bridleway), and also to exclude any information relating solely to staffing arrangements (such as notice of staff arriving or leaving, holiday cover or geographical responsibilities). Please would you also include rights of way notes 13/2010, 02/2010, 09/2009, as these appear to refer to hitherto undisclosed legal cases.

regards

Hugh Craddock

Thank you for your e-mail.  It is receiving attention and, where a reply
is required, we will send one as soon as possible.
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Pritchard, Chris,

Dear Mr Craddock

Thank you for your email.

In accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act/Environmental Information Regulations, we aim to respond to requests for information promptly, and within 20 working days. If for any reason we cannot meet that deadline, or we require further information in order to answer your request, then we will let you know.

Chris Pritchard 
Planning Inspectorate

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Pritchard, Chris,

Dear Mr Craddock

I write further to your e-mail requesting information from the Planning Inspectorate and my subsequent acknowledgement.

Unfortunately, due to the amount of material requested and the complexity of related considerations, we are not yet in position to respond. Whilst we still aim to respond as soon as possible, I am extending the time in which we can reply to 40 working days (in accordance with regulation 7 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

I will keep you advised with regard to progress on your request.

Chris Pritchard
Planning Inspectorate

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Planning Inspectorate,

My outstanding request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 for copies of rights of way notes is now overdue for reply by the Inspectorate. My calculation is that the extended 40 working period expired on 30 August. I have already greatly reduced the scope of the request submitted at your request — the least you can do is to respond to that request within the period allowed by law.

If the Inspectorate fails to respond in full within the next ten working days, I will proceed to request an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Craddock

Enquiries,

Thank you for your e-mail.  It is receiving attention and, where a reply
is required, we will send one as soon as possible.
 
 

Pritchard, Chris,

Dear Mr Craddock

Thank you for your e-mail. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your revised request.

On progressing your revised request, it has become apparent that the work involved in the task has been underestimated. This, together with staff absence, has unfortunately resulted in delay.

Work continues on your revised request and I will keep you advised on progress.

Chris Pritchard
Planning Inspectorate

Dear Planning Inspectorate

I submitted to you a request for information about rights of way notes on 5 June 2017, and the Inspectorate responded on 3 July, noting that it had responded to the request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, that the information requested was substantial, and asking for the scope of the request to be narrowed. I responded on 4 July, seeking disclosure of a smaller group of notes, from 2015 to the date of the request. The Inspectorate acknowledged my revised request on 6 July, and on 3 August under r.7 extended to 40 days the time available for a response. I chased on 2 September, and on 8 September was informed that there had been a further delay. I have heard nothing further.

I now ask the Inspectorate to review its conduct on the grounds that it appears to me that the Inspectorate has failed to comply with two requirement of the 2004 Regulations in relation to the request. These are that:
1) Under r.7(1), the Inspectorate may extend the period of time for compliance to 40 days only, 'if it reasonably believes that the complexity and volume of the information requested means that it is impracticable either to comply with the request.' It had no such grounds. The request was narrowed to comprise 26 rights of way notes published between 2015 and the date of the request, plus a further three notes specifically included. All of these notes (save possibly the additional three) should therefore be available in electronic form, and redaction (e.g. of the names of junior officers) could be swiftly achieved through the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro. There was therefore no need to extend the time limit. In its guidance, the Information Commissioner states (Time limits for compliance, para.53) 'there is no provision to claim an extension of time specifically to consider the public interest test.' Therefore the extension of time was unwarranted and unlawful.
2) Irrespective of 1), the Inspectorate has failed to respond in the time allowed for by the Regulations, namely 20 working days (r.5(2) as applied by r.9(4)), or 40 working days if extended under r.7. The response of 8 September was in all events unlawful.

Please would you now proceed to your internal review.

regards

Hugh Craddock

Pritchard, Chris,

20 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Further to your revised request, please find attached the requested ROW
Notes, together with the related attachments. 

 

Due to the number of documents involved, the documents will be sent over
four separate e-mails.  The covering letter to your revised request
contains a table which explains which attachments are related to each ROW
Note.

 

ROW Note 05/2016 has a set of related training notes as attachments.  I
will send the training notes in a separate set of e-mails.

 

I do note your request for an internal review, which was received today. 
As explained in the attached covering letter to the revised request, it
became apparent that the work involved in the task was initially
underestimated as your revised request was progressed.  The nature of the
information contained in the Notes and associated documents required
detailed consideration of the documents and the subsequent redaction of
sensitive or personal information.  Further to this, liaison with Defra
was necessary where a Note contains information which has been provided by
them.  Please again accept my apologies for the time taken to respond to
your revised request.  In light of your receipt of the requested documents
today, please let me know if you would still wish an internal review to be
undertaken. 

 

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

 

 

 

Pritchard, Chris,

14 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Please find attached a second e-mail, regarding the above revised request.

 

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

 

 

 

 

Pritchard, Chris,

21 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Please find attached a third e-mail, regarding the above revised request.

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [1][email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Pritchard, Chris,

22 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Please find attached a fourth e-mail, regarding the above revised
request.  This is the final e-mail relating to ROW Notes. 

 

I will e-mail the training notes, related to ROW Note 05/2016, separately.

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [1][email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Pritchard, Chris,

18 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Further to your revised request, please find attached the training notes
related to ROW Note 05/2016.

 

This is the first of two e-mails.

 

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [1][email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Pritchard, Chris,

23 Atodiad

 

Dear Mr Craddock

 

Further to your revised request, please find attached the training notes
related to ROW Note 05/2016.

 

This is the second of two e-mails.

 

==========================

Chris Pritchard

The Planning Inspectorate

Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House

2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol  BS1 6PN

 

E-mail:  [1][email address]

Telephone:  0303 444 5493

==========================

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Chris

Thank you for the Inspectorate's disclosures made last week.

I will review the disclosures and decide how to proceed. In the meantime, please suspend my request for an internal review.

regards

Hugh Craddock

Pritchard, Chris,

Thank you for your e-mail.

I am out of the office until Thursday 19th October and your e-mail will
not be forwarded.

Should the matter be important, please call the Customer Quality team on
0303 444 5884 in my absence.