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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0081580
  • Date: 3 July 2007
  • Public Authority: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
  • Summary: The complainant requested a copy of Counsel’s advice that the authority had obtained in relation to a planning application and the documents that the authority had provided Counsel with the instructions. The authority refused to supply the complainant with the information citing section 42 of the Act, legal professional privilege. The authority did however, refer the complainant to a summary of the advice that it had circulated. The Commissioner finds that the information requested falls within the definition of environmental information and so is dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. In this case, there is no difference in outcome resulting from the application of the Regulations as opposed to the Act. The Commissioner also finds that by referencing the advice received from Counsel in the publicly available summary, the authority have waived privilege and the relevant exception, 12(5)(b), is therefore, not engaged. Furthermore, the enclosures are separate, discrete documents and are not just part of the instructions and so again, the exception is not engaged. The authority is required to provide the complainant with the information requested.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]