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Abernant Farm landfill site

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Dear Carmarthenshire Council,

Please can you provide all information that Carmarthenshire County Council holds in relation to the former Abernant Farm landfill site at Nant Y Glyn Road, Glanaman, Carmarthenshire.

The late Mr Kenneth Whitehead (whose frail, twilight years were blighted by the inconsiderate and unlawful dumping and excavations) was careful to ensure that the community distributed an archive of salient documents for safe-keeping and accountability. However, the Council gathered considerably more. In particular, Mr Hugh Towns spent many damp and uncomfortable hours covertly recording at the site, hidden in the hedgerows. Please can you ensure that the photographs that he took as evidence (in order to have the operator's site license revoked) are included.

There is no need to include information currently accessible on the Planning Portal (such as E/34305 proposal to undo the taxpayer funded remediation and import 3,100 loads of material by 32 tonne/9.1m long 8 wheel tipper lorries along the very narrow lanes through Heol Ddu to reach the site, operating six days a week, for many years).

Yours faithfully,

D Morris

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Morris,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 3rd April, 2017 and is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We are therefore required to provide a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before 4th May, 2017.

If we require clarification we will also contact you as soon as we can – please note that the timescale for response specified above may be subject to change if this is the case.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries, remembering to quote the reference number above in any communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

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Dear Mr. Tillman,

I am disappointed that Carmarthenshire County Council has chosen not to comply with its legal obligations defined in the Freedom of Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

I had expected that you would have supplied the information that I requested some time ago - the law requires that you provide the information promptly and in any event no later than 20 days after the request.

A complaint file has been opened with the Information Commissioner's Office.

When do you expect that you will comply with the Act/Regulations and supply the information requested?

Yours sincerely,

D Morris

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Morris,

Thank you for your email. I sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to your request and can assure you that this has not been overlooked.

A further response will be provided as soon as possible, in the early part of next week.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

show quoted sections

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Mr Morris,

 

I refer to your request for information, which was received on 3^rd April,
2017 and has been dealt with under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (EIR) as it concerns information relating to measures
which affect the environment.  Please accept my apologies for the delay in
responding to your request.

 

The specific information you asked for was as follows:

 

“Please can you provide all information that Carmarthenshire County
Council holds in relation to the former Abernant Farm landfill site at
Nant Y Glyn Road, Glanaman, Carmarthenshire.

 

The late Mr Kenneth Whitehead (whose frail, twilight years were blighted
by the inconsiderate and unlawful dumping and excavations) was careful to
ensure that the community distributed an archive of salient documents for
safe-keeping and accountability.  However, the Council gathered
considerably more. In particular, Mr Hugh Towns spent many damp and
uncomfortable hours covertly recording at the site, hidden in the
hedgerows. Please can you ensure that the photographs that he took as
evidence (in order to have the operator's site license revoked) are
included.

 

There is no need to include information currently accessible on the
Planning Portal (such as E/34305 proposal to undo the taxpayer funded
remediation and import 3,100 loads of material by 32 tonne/9.1m long 8
wheel tipper lorries along the very narrow lanes through Heol Ddu to reach
the site, operating six days a week, for many years).”

 

In response, we have given your request careful consideration and are of
the view that it cannot be complied with in its present form for reasons I
will set out below.

 

Although focussed on a specific site, in terms of its scope, your request
is very broad and encompasses a large amount of information relating to
this location.  The site has a planning history going back to the former
Dinefwr Borough Council and it would be necessary to locate and retrieve
every single file or document held regarding this site.  These will be
held in archived planning application files, planning enforcement files
(which would in all likelihood be exempt from disclosure under the EIR) as
well as possibly other un-filed documents. 

 

A large amount of this information would need to be searched for manually,
which would clearly be a significant piece of work and onerous in terms of
the time it would take.

 

Under Regulation 12 (4) (b) of the EIR a public authority is not obliged
to comply with a request if it is deemed ‘manifestly unreasonable'. 

         

We are of the view that this is the case here and that this exception is
engaged.  However, there EIR contains a presumption in favour of
disclosure and I am required to consider whether the public interest in
maintaining the exception outweighs the wider public interest in complying
with your request.

 

I am satisfied that the work required to review all of the information you
have requested would place an excessive administrative burden on our
Planning Services.  I believe it would represent a significant diversion
in terms of staff time and would have a negative impact on the work of the
service. In this case, I consider that the public interest lies in
ensuring that service delivery is not interrupted, which would inevitably
happen, given the scale of the work that complying with your request would
involve.  Accordingly, I have determined that the exception should be
maintained. 

 

However, if you were able to refine your request, for instance, by
focussing it on specific planning application files, we may be able to
provide some information.  To this end, we could provide a list of
planning applications for the site if required.  Should you require any
assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Your right of appeal

 

I appreciate that you may be dissatisfied with this response and if you
are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled, you can
request a review by writing to:

 

The Head of Administration & Law

Carmarthenshire County Council

County Hall

Carmarthen

SA31 1JP

 

Email: [1][email address]

 

If you remain unhappy with the handling of your request or complaint, you
have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: [2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data

Tîm Llywodraethu Gwybodaeth a Chwynion
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

 

Information & Data Protection Officer

Information Governance & Complaints Team
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

 

Mewnol/Internal: 4127
Allanol/External: 01267 224127

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/

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