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Documents relating to other options considered for Hoylake Golf Resort site

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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

At the recent Council Constituency Committee Meetings (March 2018) the Council issued a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about Hoylake Golf Resort. These questions and answers are also published on the Council's website:

https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

Question 36 states. "Where can the Council show that it has considered other uses (including leaving alone as a farm) as per Aarhus convention? Why have the Council not considered a Wildlife / Wetlands Resort or an Eco-resort as suggested by the Hoylake Vision Team?"

The Council's answer to question 36 states "The do-nothing approach is always an option with every project however this was discounted in favour of the current proposal as the Council’s strategy is to drive balanced economic growth and to take advantage of opportunities where they occur.

The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact. The developer will commission an in-depth study of all the economic benefits of the resort in support of their planning application."

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any other information detailing how the "do nothing option" was assessed and why it was discounted.

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any other information which details how the Council have concluded that this project provides "the best return for Wirral".

Please provide copies of any reports, studies or any other information detailing which other options where assessed in order to conclude that the golf resort project is the "best return for Wirral".

Please provide details of the "indicators" which were measured and used to decide that this scheme is the "best return for Wirral".

Please provide details of how these "indicators" were measured and what were the results of these indicators, for each of the other schemes considered.

Please provide any documents, reports or studies or any other information which details how the conclusion was reached that "no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact". Please provide details of the "positive impacts" that the Golf Resort is expected to provide.

Please can you provide any cost /benefit analysis studies undertaken which compares the Golf Resort option with all the other options considered. (including the "do nothing" option.)

Please can you provide details of any costs associated with the options studies, reports etc.

Many thanks

Yours faithfully,

K O'Rourke

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr O’Rourke

 

Thank you for your recent request for information.  Please see below the
Council’s response, highlighted in bold, to the issues raised in your
correspondence.

 

At the recent Council Constituency Committee Meetings (March 2018) the
Council issued a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about Hoylake Golf
Resort. These questions and answers are also published on the Council's
website:

[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

 

Question 36 states. "Where can the Council show that it has considered
other uses (including leaving alone as a farm) as per Aarhus convention?
Why have the Council not considered a Wildlife / Wetlands Resort or an
Eco-resort as suggested by the Hoylake Vision Team?"  The Council's answer
to question 36 states "The do-nothing approach is always an option with
every project however this was discounted in favour of the current
proposal as the Council’s strategy is to drive balanced economic growth
and to take advantage of opportunities where they occur.

 

The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral
across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such
as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it
is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of
positive impact. The developer will commission an in-depth study of all
the economic benefits of the resort in support of their planning
application."

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information detailing how the "do nothing option" was assessed and
why it was discounted.

The concept of a Golf Resort in Hoylake formed part of the West Kirby and
Hoylake 8 Point Plan which was the subject of extensive public
consultation initially in October 2003. The plan for multiple
interventions and key projects in both locations was broadly supported.
The feedback from these events informed a subsequent Strategic Options
Report undertaken by BDP April 2004. The Hoylake Golf Resort was one of
those key regeneration projects identified and promoted from all the
options arising from the consultation including in theory the do nothing
option. The BDP Strategic Options Report attached.                      

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information which details how the Council have concluded that this
project provides "the best return for Wirral".

See the BDP report attached. Further information on the project’s merits
will be provided as part of the planning case to be submitted in due
course.

 

Please provide copies of any reports, studies or any other information
detailing which other options where assessed in order to conclude that the
golf resort project is the "best return for Wirral".

See the BDP report attached.

 

Please provide details of the "indicators" which were measured and used to
decide that this scheme is the "best return for Wirral".

See the BDP report attached

 

Please provide details of how these "indicators" were measured and what
were the results of these indicators, for each of the other schemes
considered.

See the BDP report attached

 

Please provide any documents, reports or studies or any other information
which details how the conclusion was reached that "no other scheme
measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact". Please
provide details of the "positive impacts" that the Golf Resort is expected
to provide.

See the BDP report attached

 

Please can you provide any cost /benefit analysis studies undertaken which
compares the Golf Resort option with all the other options considered.
(including the "do nothing" option.)

See the BDP report attached

 

Please can you provide details of any costs associated with the options
studies, reports etc.

The BDP Strategic Options Report did not assign cost information in
relation to the options considered. The report was strategic in nature and
considered projects that were considered to be positive and beneficial to
the area.   

 

We trust this clarifies matters.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Senior Information Management Officer

Business Services - Digital

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[2]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[4]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
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References

Visible links
1. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...
2. file:///tmp/Tel:0151
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,
I would like to make the following reply to your response:

At the recent Council Constituency Committee Meetings (March 2018) the
Council issued a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about Hoylake Golf
Resort. These questions and answers are also published on the Council's
website:
[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

Question 36 states. "Where can the Council show that it has considered
other uses (including leaving alone as a farm) as per Aarhus convention?
Why have the Council not considered a Wildlife / Wetlands Resort or an
Eco-resort as suggested by the Hoylake Vision Team?" The Council's answer
to question 36 states "The do-nothing approach is always an option with
every project however this was discounted in favour of the current
proposal as the Council’s strategy is to drive balanced economic growth
and to take advantage of opportunities where they occur.

The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral
across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such
as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it
is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of
positive impact. The developer will commission an in-depth study of all
the economic benefits of the resort in support of their planning
application."

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information detailing how the "do nothing option" was assessed and
why it was discounted.

Council repsonse: The concept of a Golf Resort in Hoylake formed part of the West Kirby and
Hoylake 8 Point Plan which was the subject of extensive public
consultation initially in October 2003. The plan for multiple
interventions and key projects in both locations was broadly supported.
The feedback from these events informed a subsequent Strategic Options
Report undertaken by BDP April 2004. The Hoylake Golf Resort was one of
those key regeneration projects identified and promoted from all the
options arising from the consultation including in theory the do nothing
option. The BDP Strategic Options Report attached.

Response by KOR: The BDP Strategic Options Report expands on the (now defunct) 8 Point Plan for the WHOLE of West Kirby and Hoylake. It considered options for the WHOLE of West Kirby and Hoylake. This BDP report does not show (as per the original question) where the Council has considered other options specifically for the Hoylake Golf Resort Site. The BDP Strategic Options Report does not show how the “Do Nothing” Option was assessed and discounted. You state “….all the options arising from the consultation including in theory the do nothing option” – What does “in theory” mean? Has the “Do Nothing “ option for the Golf Resort Site ACTUALLY been assessed or “theoretically” been assessed? If it has ACTUALLY been assessed then please provide the documentary evidence.

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information which details how the Council have concluded that this
project provides "the best return for Wirral".
Council response: See the BDP report attached. Further information on the project’s merits
will be provided as part of the planning case to be submitted in due
course.

KOR response: Again, the BDP report is a Strategic Options Report which is 14 years old and is for the now defunct Hoylake and West Kirby Masterplan. The report outlines only one option for the Hoylake Golf Resort site – and that is a Golf Resort. No other options specifically for this site are discussed or considered. There is no information detailing how the Council have concluded that this project provides the “best return for the Wirral”. I do not accept your response that “further information on the projects merits will be provided as part of the planning case to be submitted in due course”. The response issued as part of the FAQ sheet stated “The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral across a number of indicators” – this leads people to believe that the Council already have the information to conclude that this project provides the “best return for Wirral” – therefore, I would be grateful if you would provide the information that has led to this conclusion. Alternatively, you may confirm that the Council does not (yet) have the information to conclude that this project is the "best return for Wirral".

Please provide copies of any reports, studies or any other information
detailing which other options where assessed in order to conclude that the
golf resort project is the "best return for Wirral".
Council Response: See the BDP report attached.

KOR Response: Again, I cannot find any evidence in the BDP report which details any other options considered for the Hoylake Golf Resort site. Please can you provide information studies or reports which have looked at other options for the site? Alternatively, you may confirm that the only option considered for this specific site is the Golf Resort Option.

Please provide details of the "indicators" which were measured and used to
decide that this scheme is the "best return for Wirral".
See the BDP report attached

KOR response: Again, The BDP Report discusses only one option for the Golf Resort site. The report does not provide details of any “indicators”.

Please provide details of how these "indicators" were measured and what
were the results of these indicators, for each of the other schemes
considered.
Council response: See the BDP report attached
KOR Response: The BDP report provides no details of how the “indicators” were measured, what the results were or what the results were for each of the other schemes considered.

Please provide any documents, reports or studies or any other information
which details how the conclusion was reached that "no other scheme
measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact". Please
provide details of the "positive impacts" that the Golf Resort is expected
to provide.
Council response: See the BDP report attached
KOR Response: Again, I can find no information in the BDP report to show how “no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact”

Please can you provide any cost /benefit analysis studies undertaken which
compares the Golf Resort option with all the other options considered.
(including the "do nothing" option.)
Council response: See the BDP report attached
KOR Response: The BDP report provides no information about any cost / benefit analysis study which compares the Golf Resort Option with all the other options considered. Please can you provide copies of any cost / benefit analysis which has been undertaken? Alternatively, you may confirm that no cost / benefit analysis has been undertaken.

Please can you provide details of any costs associated with the options
studies, reports etc.
Council response: The BDP Strategic Options Report did not assign cost information in
relation to the options considered. The report was strategic in nature and
considered projects that were considered to be positive and beneficial to
the area.

KOR Response: I must clarify my original question. I wished for you to provide details of the actual cost to the Council for undertaking these studies. Please can you provide the cost of undertaking the following studies: Hoylake and West Kirby Regeneration Plan – Base Line Study, The BDP Strategic Options Report 2004, Regeneration Plan for Hoylake and West Kirby 2004 (including final masterplan report).
You state “projects that were considered to be positive and beneficial to the area” – please can you provide details of how it was concluded, and by whom, that the Golf Resort project was considered to be positive and beneficial to the area.
Please can you also provide details of any public consultations which were undertaken, I believe in 2003, as part of the regeneration plan. Please can you provide copies of any documents or information boards etc that were used in the public consultations which relate to the Golf Resort proposal.
In the following report “Masterplan for the Regeneration of Hoylake and West Kirby” by the Deputy Chief Executive / Director of Corporate Services 9/11/04 – it states “a summary and overview regarding the outcome of the events and the response from the public through feedback questionnaires received is contained in Appendix 1”
https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/Data/Eco...
Please can you provide a copy of Appendix 1 for this report including any information, summaries and feedback questionnaires received?

Council Response: We trust this clarifies matters.

KOR response: To conclude, unfortunately I do not feel that your responses have clarified the matter and you have not provided any evidence to substantiate the response given to question 36 on the Councils Website. Therefore, I respectfully ask that you look again at the responses given as I regard them to be inadequate.

Yours sincerely,

K O'Rourke

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms O’Rourke,

 

I refer to your email of 17 April, when you made the following request for
information:-

 

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

 

At the recent Council Constituency Committee Meetings (March 2018) the
Council issued a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about Hoylake Golf
Resort. These questions and answers are also published on the Council's
website:

 

[1]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

 

Question 36 states. "Where can the Council show that it has considered
other uses (including leaving alone as a farm) as per Aarhus convention?
Why have the Council not considered a Wildlife / Wetlands Resort or an
Eco-resort as suggested by the Hoylake Vision Team?"

 

The Council's answer to question 36 states "The do-nothing approach is
always an option with every project however this was discounted in favour
of the current proposal as the Council’s strategy is to drive balanced
economic growth and to take advantage of opportunities where they occur.

 

The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral
across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such
as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it
is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of
positive impact. The developer will commission an in-depth study of all
the economic benefits of the resort in support of their planning
application."

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information detailing how the "do nothing option" was assessed and
why it was discounted.

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information which details how the Council have concluded that this
project provides "the best return for Wirral".

 

Please provide copies of any reports, studies or any other information
detailing which other options where assessed in order to conclude that the
golf resort project is the "best return for Wirral".

 

Please provide details of the "indicators" which were measured and used to
decide that this scheme is the "best return for Wirral".

 

Please provide details of how these "indicators" were measured and what
were the results of these indicators, for each of the other schemes
considered.

 

Please provide any documents, reports or studies or any other information
which details how the conclusion was reached that "no other scheme
measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact". Please
provide details of the "positive impacts" that the Golf Resort is expected
to provide.

 

Please can you provide any cost /benefit analysis studies undertaken which
compares the Golf Resort option with all the other options considered.
(including the "do nothing" option.)

 

Please can you provide details of any costs associated with the options
studies, reports etc.

 

The Council responded on 14 May and enclosed with the response, a copy of
a Strategic Options Report. You indicated in your email of 15 May, that
you considered the Council’s response inadequate and asked that the
Council look again at its responses.

 

I consider that the requested information is environmental information
under Regulation 2 of the Environmental Information Regulations
2004(“EIR”). I consider that the exception contained in Regulation 12
(4)(b) of the EIR applies to your request for information. Regulation 12
(4)(b) states that for the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public
authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that the
request for information is manifestly unreasonable. I have had regard to
the guidance produced by the Information Commissioner, “Manifestly
unreasonable requests-regulation 12 (4)(b) 20130315 Version 1. Paragraph
18 of the guidance states “ … the exception at regulation 12 (4) (b) of
the EIR can apply if the cost or burden of dealing with a request is too
great.”

 

Your email of 15 May contained the following representations:-

 

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

I would like to make the following reply to your response:

 

At the recent Council Constituency Committee Meetings (March 2018) the
Council issued a Frequently Asked Questions sheet about Hoylake Golf
Resort. These questions and answers are also published on the Council's

website:

[1][2]https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...

 

Question 36 states. "Where can the Council show that it has considered
other uses (including leaving alone as a farm) as per Aarhus convention?

Why have the Council not considered a Wildlife / Wetlands Resort or an
Eco-resort as suggested by the Hoylake Vision Team?"  The Council's answer
to question 36 states "The do-nothing approach is always an option with
every project however this was discounted in favour of the current
proposal as the Council’s strategy is to drive balanced economic growth
and to take advantage of opportunities where they occur.

 

The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral
across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such
as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it
is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of
positive impact. The developer will commission an in-depth study of all
the economic benefits of the resort in support of their planning
application."

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information detailing how the "do nothing option" was assessed and
why it was discounted.

 

Council response: The concept of a Golf Resort in Hoylake formed part of
the West Kirby and Hoylake 8 Point Plan which was the subject of extensive
public consultation initially in October 2003. The plan for multiple
interventions and key projects in both locations was broadly supported.

The feedback from these events informed a subsequent Strategic Options
Report undertaken by BDP April 2004. The Hoylake Golf Resort was one of
those key regeneration projects identified and promoted from all the
options arising from the consultation including in theory the do nothing

option. The BDP Strategic Options Report attached.     

 

Response by KOR: The BDP Strategic Options Report expands on the (now
defunct) 8 Point Plan for the WHOLE of West Kirby and Hoylake. It
considered options for the WHOLE of West Kirby and Hoylake. This BDP
report does not show (as per the original question) where the Council has
considered other options specifically for the Hoylake Golf Resort Site.
The BDP Strategic Options Report does not show how the “Do Nothing” Option
was assessed and discounted. You state “….all the options arising from the
consultation including in theory the do nothing option” – What does “in
theory” mean? Has the “Do Nothing “ option for the Golf Resort Site
ACTUALLY been assessed or “theoretically” been assessed? If it has
ACTUALLY been assessed then please provide the documentary evidence.

 

Please can you provide copies of any reports, studies, documents or any
other information which details how the Council have concluded that this
project provides "the best return for Wirral".

Council response: See the BDP report attached. Further information on the
project’s merits will be provided as part of the planning case to be
submitted in due course.

 

KOR response: Again, the BDP report is a Strategic Options Report which is
14 years old and is for the now defunct Hoylake and West Kirby Masterplan.
The report outlines only one option for the Hoylake Golf Resort site – and
that is a Golf Resort. No other options specifically for this site are
discussed or considered. There is no information detailing how the Council
have concluded that this project provides the “best return for the
Wirral”.  I do not accept your response that “further information on the
projects merits will be provided as part of the planning case to be
submitted in due course”. The response issued as part of the FAQ sheet
stated “The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return
for Wirral across a number of indicators” – this leads people to believe
that the Council already have the information to conclude that this
project provides the “best return for Wirral” – therefore, I would be
grateful if you would provide the information that has led to this
conclusion. Alternatively, you may confirm that the Council does not (yet)
have the information to conclude that this project is the "best return for
Wirral".

 

Please provide copies of any reports, studies or any other information
detailing which other options where assessed in order to conclude that the
golf resort project is the "best return for Wirral".

Council Response: See the BDP report attached.

 

KOR Response: Again, I cannot find any evidence in the BDP report which
details any other options considered for the Hoylake Golf Resort site.
Please can you provide information studies or reports which have looked at
other options for the site? Alternatively, you may confirm that the only
option considered for this specific site is the Golf Resort Option.

 

Please provide details of the "indicators" which were measured and used to
decide that this scheme is the "best return for Wirral".

See the BDP report attached

 

KOR response: Again, The BDP Report discusses only one option for the Golf
Resort site. The report does not provide details of any “indicators”.

 

Please provide details of how these "indicators" were measured and what
were the results of these indicators, for each of the other schemes
considered.

Council response: See the BDP report attached KOR Response: The BDP report
provides no details of how the “indicators” were measured, what the
results were or what the results were for each of the other schemes
considered.

 

Please provide any documents, reports or studies or any other information
which details how the conclusion was reached that "no other scheme
measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact". Please
provide details of the "positive impacts" that the Golf Resort is expected
to provide.

Council response: See the BDP report attached KOR Response: Again, I can
find no information in the BDP report to show how “no other scheme
measures against the golf resort in terms of positive impact”

 

Please can you provide any cost /benefit analysis studies undertaken which
compares the Golf Resort option with all the other options considered.

(including the "do nothing" option.)

Council response: See the BDP report attached KOR Response: The BDP report
provides no information about any cost / benefit analysis study which
compares the Golf Resort Option with all the other options considered.
Please can you provide copies of any cost / benefit analysis which has
been undertaken? Alternatively, you may confirm that no cost / benefit
analysis has been undertaken.

 

Please can you provide details of any costs associated with the options
studies, reports etc.

Council response: The BDP Strategic Options Report did not assign cost
information in relation to the options considered. The report was
strategic in nature and considered projects that were considered to be
positive and beneficial to the area.  

 

KOR Response: I must clarify my original question. I wished for you to
provide details of the actual cost to the Council for undertaking these
studies. Please can you provide the cost of undertaking the following
studies: Hoylake and West Kirby Regeneration Plan – Base Line Study, The
BDP Strategic Options Report 2004, Regeneration Plan for Hoylake and West
Kirby 2004 (including final masterplan report).

You state “projects that were considered to be positive and beneficial to
the area” – please can you provide details of how it was concluded, and by
whom, that the Golf Resort project was considered to be positive and
beneficial to the area.

Please can you also provide details of any public consultations which were
undertaken, I believe in 2003, as part of the regeneration plan. Please
can you provide copies of any documents or information boards etc that
were used in the public consultations which relate to the Golf Resort
proposal.

In the following report “Masterplan for the Regeneration of Hoylake and
West Kirby” by the Deputy Chief Executive / Director of Corporate Services
9/11/04 – it states “a summary and overview regarding the outcome of the
events and the response from the public through feedback questionnaires
received is contained in Appendix 1”

[3]https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/Data/Eco...

Please can you provide a copy of Appendix 1 for this report including any
information, summaries and feedback questionnaires received?

 

Council Response: We trust this clarifies matters.

 

KOR response: To conclude, unfortunately I do not feel that your responses
have clarified the matter and you have not provided any evidence to
substantiate the response given to question 36 on the Councils Website.
Therefore, I respectfully ask that you look again at the responses given
as I regard them to be inadequate.

 

 

 

I have had regard to the totality of the information requested in your
emails of 19 April and 15 May. I consider that the burden of dealing with
your request is too great and would impose a disproportionate burden on
the authority. I have taken into account the following circumstances:-

·         the nature of the request and any wider value in the requested
information being publicly available

·         the importance of the underlying issue to which the request
relates

·         the size of the Council as a public authority and the resources
available to it, including the extent to which the public authority would
be distracted from delivering other services; and

·         the context in which the request is made, which may include the
burden of responding to other requests on the same subject from the same
requester

I consider that the amount of staff time that would be involved in
responding to your request is sufficient to render it manifestly
unreasonable and that complying with your request would involve an
unreasonable diversion of resources.

 

Public Interest Test

This exception is subject to the public interest test. Under Regulation 12
(2) of the EIR, the Council must apply a presumption in favour of
disclosure.

 

Factors in favour of disclosing the requested information

o Public interest in disclosure to promote transparency and
accountability of public authorities

 

Factors in favour of maintaining the exception

o Protecting public authorities from exposure to disproportionate burden
or disruption in handing information requests
o Dealing with manifestly unreasonable requests can place a strain on
resources and get in the way of public authorities delivering services

 

I am satisfied that the public interest in maintaining the exception
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

I  am therefore refusing your request for information under Regulation 14
of the EIR, relying on the exception contained in Regulation 12 (4)(b) of
the EIR.

 

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner . The
address of the Information Commissioner’s Office is:-

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel -0303 123 113

[4]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

 

Yours sincerely

Sent for and on behalf of

 

 

Rosemary Lyon,

Solicitor,

Wirral  Borough Council.

Law and Governance

Business Services

 

T : 0151-691-8141

E : [5][email address]

 

 

[6]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be
protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may
involve licensing and the application of a charge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b...
2. https://www.wirral.gov.uk/planning-and-b
3. https://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/Data/Eco...
4. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
5. mailto:[email address]

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Documents relating to other options considered for Hoylake Golf Resort site'.

You state that a Factors in favour of maintaining the exception is "Protecting public authorities from exposure to disproportionate burden or disruption in handing information requests". I fail to see how my request exposes the Council to disproportionate burden or disruption.

ICO guidance states that a "disproportionate burden" would involve more than 18 hours of staff time. I fail to see how providing the information requested would take more than 18 hours of staff time. The Hoylake Golf Resort is a "live" project. Documents relating to the Hoylake Golf resort should, therefore, be easily accessible in the Councils filing system. The information I have requested relates to the following statements which have been publicly stated...

"The do-nothing approach is always an option with
every project however this was discounted in favour of the current
proposal" and "The Council is pursuing a project that provides the best return for Wirral
across a number of indicators. That is not to say that other schemes, such
as the wildlife / wetlands resort, do not have some merit in principle, it
is just that no other scheme measures against the golf resort in terms of
positive impact."

The information I have requested about other options considered is likely to be held in a single, or just a few "options" reports which should be easily accessible. I would contend that in order to request a copy of this report or reports would merely take just a few minutes to send an email to the relevant department, an hour or two to find the reports in the filing system (at most!) and a couple of emails (taking just a few minutes) to email them out to me. I fail to see how this would take 18 hours.
The ICO guidance states that you can refuse a request if it would require an extensive search in a number of locations - I do not understand how this is the case for this request. The Council has referred to these option studies in recently published FAQs on its websites, therefore who ever wrote the repsonse to the FAQs would know where the information came from. Therefore, I suggest you contact whoever published the FAQs and I am sure they can point you in the right direction.

You also state " Dealing with manifestly unreasonable requests can place a strain on
resources and get in the way of public authorities delivering services". I would like you to explain why my request is manifestly unreasonable? Both Councillors and Officers have repeatedly, in public, stated that a number of options have been considered for the Hoylake Golf Resort site. As you are aware, there is considerable public opposition to the resort, including from the MP for Wirral West. Therefore, disclosure of the documents would allow a greater degree of scrutiny and transparency over how the decision to pursue the Hoylake Golf Resort Project was reached. It is important that public authorities allow their decisions to be scrutinised by the public to ensure public confidence.

Kind regards

K O'Rourke

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear K O’Rourke

 

I write further to your email of 21 August 2018 in which you seek an
internal review of the Council’s response to your request for information
under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

 

I am satisfied that the Council has responded as fully as possible to your
original request of 17 April 2018, in which you sought documents relating
to other options considered for Hoylake Golf Resort.  An additional
detailed response was issued to you on 6 June 2018 replying to the further
representations made in your email of 15 May 2018.

 

You subsequently requested an internal review on 21 August 2018.

 

All correspondence to date in this matter has been revisited and full
consideration has been given to all of the issues raised in your ongoing
correspondence. Your request was refused under Regulation 14 of the EIR,
in reliance upon the exception contained in Regulation 12 (4)(b).  A
detailed explanation for this decision was provided and I am satisfied
that this decision was correct and should be upheld. 

 

It is noted that you have made reference to  ’18 hours’ in your email of
21 August 2018.  Please note this is an exemption under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 but has no bearing upon this matter as it is subject
to the legislative provision of the EIR.  Given there appears to be some
confusion, I offer the following clarification statement to hopefully
avoid any further misunderstandings.

 

There is no further recorded information of the nature originally
requested, that is, a formal single or a series of studies that
specifically weigh up the options of the current golf resort proposal
vis-à-vis other options on that particular site. As stated previously the
Council has been in discussions with local groups and partner
organisations concerning an Eco-Golf Resort, Wildfowl and Wetland Centre
but those discussions have yet to conclude and funding for a feasibility
study has not been identified at the time of writing.

 

The proposed golf resort is to be the subject of a planning application
underpinned by formal statutory and informal consultations, where a large
amount of geo-technical, environmental and other information concerning
all of the issues will be shared and discussed in an open and transparent
way. This process will be the forum to air and discuss all opinions.

 

This is the Council’s final response to your enquiry.  If you remain
dissatisfied with our response then you can complain to the Information
Commissioners Office, details of how to make a complaint can be found
here: [1]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Business Management

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[2]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[4]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

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protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.   You are free
to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you
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References

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