Sail Project Report for 24 Sep 2009

Ian Campbell made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,


Please supply me with the Director's report for the Cabinet meeting on 24th September 2009: Item 24. The Sail Project

Where you judge that parts of the document are exempt from publication, I request that you redact those parts and release the remainder of the document. Where parts of the document are redacted, please explain the nature of the information removed and the reasons why you consider it to be exempt.

I would also like to request that any refusal to the above request be accompanied by a recommendation of how the request may be modified, so that it may be granted.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Campbell

Francis Irving left an annotation ()

The Sale Project seems to be a proposal to build a new hotel in the Wirral. Deatils in this news article:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I have not yet received any response to my request for information. Since Wirral Council should have replied by 15 October 2009 (20 working days), this is a breach of the Freedom of Information Act. I should like to register a complaint and ask that my request for information be investigated by your internal review procedure.

Please confirm receipt of this request.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Campbell

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your email I will make enquiries and get back to you when
I have some information.
Kind Regards
Jane Corrin
Information Manager
Wirral Council

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Lyon, Rosemary A., Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Campbell,

I refer to the Freedom of Information request contained in your email of
17 September 2009.I am copying this response to the Complaints Officer at
the Information Commissioner's Office. I apologise for the delay in
responding to this request

You asked for a copy of the Director's report in respect of the Sail
Project, which at the time your request was made, was due to be considered
by the Cabinet meeting on 24 September 2009. I consider that your request
for information should be dealt with under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004, rather than the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is
because your request comes within the definition of environmental
information within the 2004 Regulations, as the information relates to
plans and activities concerning land, namely the Sail Project at West
Kirkby. (Regulation 2 (1) (c) of the Environmental information
Regulations 2004).

The Council, as a public authority may refuse to disclose information to
the extent that its disclosure would adversely affect the confidentiality
of commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is
provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest.(Regulation 12
(5) (e) of the 2004 Regulations.) I consider that this exception to
disclosure applies in respect of the information you have requested, ie
the report concerning the Sail Project, considered by Cabinet on 24
September 2009. In reaching the decision that this exception applies, I
have had regard to the following Awareness Guidance issued by the
Information Commissioner's Office:-

Commercial Interests, Awareness Guidance No 5, Prejudice and Adversely
Affect, Awareness Guidance No 20 and also the separate guidance on the
public interest test. The exception referred to above is subject to the
public interest test. I consider that the adverse effect if the
information were released would be more likely than not to arise,
particularly having regard to the timing of such a disclosure, in
connection with the circumstances which applied when the request was made
in September 2009 and which continue to apply now. The release of the
information requested would be likely to have an adverse effect on both
the legitimate economic interest of the preferred developer and also act
to the disadvantage of the Council at this stage of the project. I have
consulted with the legal representatives of the third party preferred
developer, who has indicated that if the information contained in the
report were released it would have an adverse affect on the
confidentiality of the commercial information contained in the report and
that such confidentiality is necessary at this stage of the project to
protect the legitimate economic interests of both the third party and the
Council, and also considering the current economic climate affecting

I consider that the public interest in maintaining the exception contained
in Regulation 12 (5) (e) is greater than the public interest in disclosing
the information. There is a likelihood of harm to the legitimate economic
interest of the preferred developer if the information in the report of
the 24 September 2009 were released. I have regard to whether it was
possible to redact sections of the report, as you requested, but the
nature of the information contained in the report would prevent such
redaction. I also consider that there would be a significant risk of
damage to the bargaining position of the Council , if the information were

You have the right under Regulation 11 of the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 to make representations to the Council if you consider
that the Council has failed to comply with a requirement of the
Regulations, in refusing your request . (This is similar to asking for an
internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, of the refusal
to disclose the information). You have 40 working days in which to make
such a request which should be sent to Mr Bill Norman, Director of Law, HR
and Asset Management, Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED,
email [1][email address].

The enforcement and appeal provisions set out in Regulation 18 of the 2004
Regulations also means that if you are dissatisfied with the Council's
response having made such representations you have the right to complain
to the Information Commissioner, whose address is the Information
Commissioner's Office,

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF


Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45
Fax: 01625 524510

Yours sincerely,

Rosemary Lyon,


Legal and Member Services,

Wirral Council,


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1. mailto:[email address]

For the attention of Mr Bill Norman, Director of Law, HR and Asset Management, Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH44 8ED.

I have received a communication from Wirral Council rejecting my request for information.

I readily accept that some of the information contained in the Report that I requested may need to be withheld (for the public interest), but I do not accept that all of the information should be withheld.

I am therefore writing to ask for a review of the decision to reject my request under the rules of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Yours sincerely

Ian Campbell

Tour, Surjit, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Campbell

Further to the above review, please find attached my response together
with enclosures. (All sent as one .pdf file).

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Surjit Tour

Head of Legal and Member Services

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Department of Law, HR & Asset Management

Town Hall

Brighton Street



CH44 8ED

Tel: 0151 691 8569

Fax: 0151 691 8482

Email: [1][email address]

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mailto:[email address]

Dear Surjit Tour,

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Campbell