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Planning and legal costs of Broad Street Development (FOI)

Planning and legal costs of Broad Street Development (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 22 February 2024.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Further to the recent planning decision regarding Les Sablons, Broad Street being changed, please advise the total planning and legal costs to the public. 


The departmental appeal proceedings and legal costs were dealt with within existing salary budgets, therefore, following extensive reviews it has been established that the Government of Jersey does not hold specific information regarding the costs. Article 3 of the Freedom of information (Jersey) law 2011 therefore applies.

Third party legal costs are exempt under Article 33(b) of the Freedom of information (Jersey) Law 2011.  

Articles applied

Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”

For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –

(a)     it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or

(b)     it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.

Article 33 - Commercial interests

Information is qualified exempt information if –

(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or

(b) its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person (including the scheduled public authority holding the information).

Since the Article 33 exemption engaged is a qualified and prejudice based exemption and not an absolute exemption:

  • a prejudice test has been conducted to determine the extent to which the prejudice is real, actual or of substance and the consequence of disclosure are not trivial or insignificant; and 
  • a public interest test has been conducted to assess whether, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in supplying the information is outweighed by the public interest in not doing so.

Prejudice Test

Having given due regard amongst other matters to the Government’s position, the views of the third party, the parties relationship, fact it was not possible to publish Government costs as such data was not held  by Government and the expectation that any publication of the sums spent by the third party could lead to further unrecoverable time costs being incurred both by the third party and Government in connection with the same, on balance it was considered that some prejudice would be likely to occur to the third party and Government were the third party legal costs alone to be made published.

Public Interest Test  

Amongst other matters, it was noted that there is a need for public authorities to have transparency, accountability, financial and good decision making, in order to facilitate understanding and public debate and the Law is intended to enable the release of information unless there is good reason this should not occur. However, there is also an inherent need to avoid prejudice being caused to third parties and Government. Due consideration also needs to be given to the fact that even if some costs information was provided, the release of the same would not result in the overall costs being known.    

It is judged that whilst in other cases / circumstances it might be reasonable to publish legal costs, on balance in this case the public interest in raising awareness of the specific financial information requested is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the exemption. ​

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