General Development Order proposed amendments (FOI)
General Development Order proposed amendments (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 30 May 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
The Minster for Environment stated six months ago that he wanted the law changed and I refer to the oral question below asked in the States Assembly.
23.11.21 OQ.242/2021 Deputy M.R. Higgins of the Minister for the Environment regarding Northern Leaf and Tamba Park applications
Deputy J.H. Young: The new industry has presented challenges to the planning team as to where there has been ambiguity about the scope of the General Development (Jersey) Order. These elements were identified as being part of the work that has taken place. It was deemed that they step outside the scope of the current exemption. The advice that I just gave, that I want to have the law changed to bring it all within the scope of requirement to make an application, will address that.
Can you provide details of the proposed law changes and if not why not?
And when are these law changes expected to be made?
A Ministerial Decision (MD) regarding proposed changes to the General Development (Jersey) Order was approved in March 2022. However, this MD has been marked as being exempt from release under Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption and requires a public interest test to be carried out. This is located at the end of the response.
It is expected that any changes will be made after the General Election in June 2022 and the subsequent appointment of Ministers by the States Assembly in July 2022.
The matter will need to be re-considered by the next Minister for the Environment before any changes can be made in line with the attached guidance regarding government activity during the election period.
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.
Public Interest test
In applying this article, 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 to Ministers, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion 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 a policy.
- Release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy 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.