Documentation in regard to land at the East side of Old Hollow and Copthorne Road
Dear Mid Sussex District Council,
We request access to all correspondence both by the Council (all departments and subject matters) or to the Council or Councillors or from third parties including emails, reports, memos, reviews, letters, transcripts, minutes, agendas, internal correspondence and records, faxes, file notes, site visits, meeting minutes and notes and agendas, pre and post planning advice, enforcement reports, decision logs and action logs, telephone conversation records and all other documents or associated material relating to Land at the East side of the junction of Old Hollow and Copthorne Road, Copthorne, West Sussex known as Pot Common and sometimes erroneously referred to as Hollow Copse. Land Registry Title WSX56238. Our request above is to cover the period from 01/01/2010 to date. We refer the Council to House of Commons Library Standards Note SN/SC/1195 and Information Commissioner’s Office Decision Notice FER0553236 for guidance in providing a complete, timely and lawful response
Pot Common Protection Association
Thank you for your email. This is an automated response to let you know
your email has arrived. The FOI/DPA Team may not be able to view your
email immediately (for example if you send your request late
afternoon/evening or on a weekend, it will not be read until the following
working day) and your request will be logged as received when it is first
opened and read by us. If the email contains a request for information,
the 20 working day countdown will start on the first working day after
receipt of this request.
The request may be subject to an exemption, which the Authority is
entitled to apply to refuse the request. We will notify you if this is the
Once the information has been identified the Authority may also ask that a
fee be paid for processing and delivering the information to you. Details
of any fee to be charged will be notified to you as soon as possible.
Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter should
be sent to the Senior Information Governance Officer, Mid Sussex District
Council, Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1SS or
by return to this email.
Information provided under the FOI Act 2000 or the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 may be not be re-used, except for personal
study and non-commercial research or for news reporting and reviews,
without the permission of the Council. Please see the Council website
www.midsussex.gov.uk/page.cfm?pageID=4084 for further information or
contact Service Improvement on 01444 477422.
The information contained in this email may be subject to public
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Unless the
information contained in this email is legally exempt from disclosure, we
cannot guarantee that we will not provide the whole or part of this email
to a third party making a request for information about the subject matter
of this email. This email and any attachments may contain confidential
information and is intended only to be seen and used by the named
addressees. If you are not the named addressee, any use, disclosure,
copying, alteration or forwarding of this email and its attachments is
unauthorised. If you have received this email in error please notify the
sender immediately by email or by calling +44 (0) 1444 458 166 and remove
this email and its attachments from your system. The views expressed
within this email and any attachments are not necessarily the views or
policies of Mid Sussex District Council. We have taken precautions to
minimise the risk of transmitting software viruses, but we advise you to
carry out your own virus checks before accessing this email and any
attachments. Except where required by law, we shall not be responsible for
any damage, loss or liability of any kind suffered in connection with this
email and any attachments, or which may result from reliance on the
contents of this email and any attachments.
Thank you for your request for information. Please find our response below.
Please find attached:
1. Copies of our enforcement files and communications regarding the site in question.
2. Copies from our Planning section, covering information that was not uploaded onto the Online Planning Register - http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-lic.... Please note, this information does not include the large number of objections that the Council received that were not published as they were considered to be offensive or racist in nature. Under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), the council is allowed to apply an exception if it believes one exists. In this particular case we believe that Section 12 (5) (b) the course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair trial or the ability of the public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature, applies. The exception is subject to the public interest test. It is considered that the public interest in releasing the information does not outweigh the public interest in withholding the information. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are covered by the protected characteristic of race for the Equality Act 2010. In this particular instance we believe that to release the information concerning the offensive and /or racist remarks would promote unlawful discrimination, prevent the advancement of equality of opportunity and would be adverse to the promotion of good race relations.
3. Copies of information from our Property section. Please note these are only a small sample of files etc from that section. Under the FOI Act, the Council is allowed to apply an exemption if it believes one exists. In this particular case we believe that to comply with this request would take many hours to provide such detailed information taking the request over the appropriate limit of fees that can be charged in relation to the disbursement and prescribed costs involved in dealing with an FOI Request, ie £450 limit for local authorities. We believe that it would take us approximately 4 working days to retrieve the relevant information from the Property records, which equates to 28 hours of staff time, resulting in a fee of £700. If you would like us to proceed with this part of the request, you can choose to pay the fee and we will then undertake the work to retrieve the relevant information. Can you please confirm if you would like to do this and we will be in contact about payment. Unfortunately, as most of the property data relating to this particular piece of land has been generated in the last year, narrowing down the request to say, one year, would not help to reduce the amount of data that has to be reviewed.
Please note: certain internal communications relating to the Property file are not included in the documentation. Under the EIR, the council is allowed to apply an exception if it believes one exists. In this particular case we believe that Section 12 (4) (e) – the request involves the disclosure of internal communications, and Section 12 (5) (e) - the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest, apply. All EIR exceptions are subject to the public interest test. It is considered that the public interest in releasing the information does not outweigh the public interest in withholding the information. The release of internal communications would be highly prejudicial to commercial negotiations currently taking place.
Please also note, any redactions of third party data eg personal email addresses, in the documents provided are indicated by thick black lines.
The Council does not record telephone conversations other than in our Contact Centre and our Revenues & Benefits sections. Any official planning meeting minutes are published on the website under either Planning Committee A or B - http://mid-sussex.cmis.uk.com/mid-sussex.... As shown in the planning application form included in the Property documentation sent there was no pre-application advice given.
If for whatever reason you are unhappy with our response you are entitled to pursue any dissatisfaction, in the first instance, by contacting Tom Clark, Solicitor to the Council, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1SS, email: [email address], quoting your Reference Number.
If you still remain dissatisfied with the response you can complain to the Information Commissioner - details available at: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.
Information provided under the FOI Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 may be not be re-used, except for personal study and non-commercial research or for news reporting and reviews, without the permission of the Council. Please see the Council website http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/my-council/f..., for further information or contact the FOI Team on 01444 477422.
Digital and Customer Services
[Mid Sussex District Council request email]
Working together for a better Mid Sussex
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now