FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

19 May 2021

Please tell us the general subject of your request (e.g. Burials paid for by the council)
i would like to understand the correspondence between the landowner and east herts council in relation to enforcement case E/18/0364//ENF Moor Park Place Much Hadham.

Please provide full details of your request (e.g. Please provide details of the number of burials paid for by the council each year between 2001 and 2012)
Enforcement case E/18/0364//ENF Moor Park Place Much Hadham all correspondence from 2019 to date.



East Herts Council Response

17 June 2021

I am writing to advise you that after carrying out a Public Interest Test it is not possible to provide the information, which you requested.

The course of justice, the ability of a person to receive a fair trial or the ability of the public authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature – regulation 12(5)(b)

Under regulation 12(5)(b), you can refuse to disclose information that would adversely affect formal legal proceedings, whether criminal or civil, including enforcement proceedings. The meaning of ‘the course of justice’ is broad – it covers a range of information, such as court documents and documents covered by legal professional privilege. The meaning of ‘an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature’ is likely to include information about investigations you conduct about a potential breach of legislation, for example, planning law or environmental law. To apply this exception, the disclosure must adversely affect the inquiry by causing some real harm.

This exception is subject to the public interest. There is a strong public interest in ensuring that the Regulations do not undermine other legal procedures that govern access to court records and information held for inquiries, such as the Civil Procedure Rules and Criminal Procedure Rules.

This is a live case and the owner has failed to comply with a breach of condition notice, it is likely that a further notice will be served and it is also possible that a prosecution will arise from this. It is likely that some correspondence between the Council and the owner will be used in evidence.

Releasing information in a publicly accessible format that we may submit as evidence in a court case has the real possibility to harm our chances of successfully prosecuting. The public interest would be in favour of the ability to prosecute those who breach planning legislation and to have confidence that the council will limit development within planning law

 

 

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

I apologise that your request cannot be met and should you have any further queries or complaint about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Further Information and Guidance can be obtained from the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 01625 545 700

 

https://ico.org.uk/