Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
Can Councillors and/or Council Officers of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (“the Council”) explain why, after two visits to see Planning File APP/18/01625, concerning a repeat, repeat planning application for the demolition of 22 retirement homes at Ashton Court, Banks Road, West Kirby, and the construction of 13 3-storey private houses, I have yet to be shown a full planning file (with or without redactions)?
In 2012 the Council made available full planning files for members of the public to view……with no appointments required and no time limits imposed.
I have made two visits to the Council’s Planning Department to see Planning File APP/18/01625 and am yet to see the complete file. Council officers ask “what is it that you want to see in the file?”……..and “what is it that you think is missing?” when I know that documents are missing. This is far from satisfactory.
The ‘Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters’ (aka the Aarhus Convention), to which the UK is a Party, is very clear:
Article 4, ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION, paragraph 1 states:
‘Each Party shall ensure that……..in response to a request for environmental information, make such information available to the public, within the framework of national legislation……..copies of the actual documentation…….’.
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has failed to include copies of two petitions objecting to Planning Application APP/18/01625 in the planning file for members of the public to view (with or without redactions to comply with data protection legislation).
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has failed to include documentation showing whether or not the applicant has paid a planning application fee when submitting the APP/18/01625 planning application and the amount of money paid by the applicant.
It is clear that a full planning file has not, thus far, been made available for me to view at the Council’s Planning Department.
How many other members of the public are being denied their rights to see full planning files relating to other planning applications?
Please provide information detailing who is responsible for making the decision not to provide full planning files for members of the public to view?
Please provide information detailing who is responsible for making the decision not to provide sanitized and censored planning files for members of the public to view?
I am attempting to make a third appointment (for 30 minutes) to view Planning File APP/18/01625.
Will I be permitted to see a full planning file (with or without redactions)?

Yours faithfully,

Alan Rundle

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Rundle

 

We write further to your recent correspondence which has been dealt with
as a request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
Your enquiry stated:

 

How many other members of the public are being denied their rights to see
full planning files relating to other planning applications?

Please provide information detailing who is responsible for making the
decision not to provide full planning files for members of the public to
view?

Please provide information detailing who is responsible for making the
decision not to provide sanitized and censored planning files for members
of the public to view?

Please provide information detailing who is responsible for making the
decision not to provide sanitized and censored planning files for members
of the public to view?

I am attempting to make a third appointment (for 30 minutes) to view
Planning File APP/18/01625.

Will I be permitted to see a full planning file (with or without
redactions)?

 

It is considered that the questions posed are not requests for recorded
information and as such do not constitute valid requests under the
legislation.

 

Wirral Council reiterates that any member of the public may seek access to
any planning file by appointment at South Annexe, Brighton Street,
Wallasey, between the hours of 0930am and 1130am, on Tuesdays and
Thursdays.  Appointments are required to ensure that the file is available
and necessary arrangements can be made in time.  You should contact
[1][email address] or telephone 0151 691 8454 to
arrange a time to view the file.

 

Documents will be subject to redactions to ensure personal data, where you
are not the data subject, is protected from disclosure.  This is not a
Council decision, it is in compliance with General Data Protection
Regulations and the Data Protection Act 2018.

 

We trust this clarifies matters.

Yours sincerely

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Business Management

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead

Wirral

CH41 1AH

 

Tel: 0151 691 8201

[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

 

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