The complainant has requested information held by Hastings Borough Council (the council) relating to proposals for the erection of signage and fencing on a local caravan park site (the site). Whilst the council provided some information to the complainant, both at the internal review stage, and during the course of the Commissioner’s investigation, it advised that the remainder of the information was either not held, or was exempt from disclosure under regulation 12(5)(e) and 12(5)(b) of the EIR. The Commissioner’s decision is that the council is entitled to rely on regulation 12(5)(e) in respect of all that information which has been withheld in response to the request. In addition, the Commissioner is satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the council was correct when it advised the complainant that it did not hold part of the information that he had requested. However, the Commissioner has found that the council has breached regulation 14(2) of the EIR by failing to issue a refusal notice to the complainant within 20 working days. It has also breached regulation 14(3) by failing to cite regulation 12(4)(a) where no recorded information was held. Furthermore, where the council did provide information in response to part of the request, it failed to do so within the prescribed time period and has therefore also breached regulation 5(2) of the EIR. The Commissioner does not require the council to take any steps as a result of this decision notice.
EIR 14(3): Complaint upheld EIR 5(2): Complaint upheld EIR 12(5)(e): Complaint not upheld EIR 14(2): Complaint upheld
 UKICO FER0887781
England and Wales
Updated: 30 November 2021; Ref: scu.653751