The complainant requested financial information in relation to a planning application by a third party. The council withheld the information on the basis that Regulations 12(5)(e) and 12(5)(f) applied. However during the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the council disclosed the information to the complainant. This was because the third party sought to use the information as part of his evidence during a planning appeal. The planning inspector in charge of the appeal said to the third party that if he chose to use the information in his evidence in the appeal then he would order the information to be made available to the public. This therefore destroyed any confidentiality which the information was held under and so the council relinquished the exceptions it had been relying upon. The Commissioner’s decision is that North Devon District Council has breached Regulation 5(2) in that it did not disclose the information to the complainant within 20 working days. However under the circumstances of the case the Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 5 – Complaint Upheld
 UKICO FER0497094
England and Wales
Updated: 06 December 2021; Ref: scu.528802