Pre-planning advice to demolish Overdale (FOI)
Pre-planning advice to demolish Overdale (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 25 November 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
I would like to request the following In relation to the planning department
The recent planning application to demolish Overdale: (Application reference: P/2021/1398) says in the application form there was pre application advice, I would like all correspondence relating to this advice.
The information you have requested is exempt under Article 35 (Formulation and Development of Policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Correspondence relating to the advice given was part of the development and formulation process of the advice provided.
In general terms, a government policy can be seen as a plan to achieve a particular outcome or change in the real world. In this case, the development of advice to support the demolition of Overdale, ahead of a planning application submission for the development of a new Hospital for the Island.
Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies
Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, therefore a public interest test is necessary and the following considerations were taken into account.
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place
disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose.
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
in order to best develop policy and provide advice, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussions, whether written or oral, of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process
the need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of development
release of the information at this stage may generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and further develop advice as the project moves forward, away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately
premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider departmental business