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Is pre-application advice made public?

We don't automatically publicise the details of pre-application discussions, however if a request is made under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) we have to provide this information

Requests from the public and EIR

Under EIR we may receive a request from a member of the public to provide information regarding enquiries for pre-application advice and of any advice given.

Subject to the exceptions below, we are obliged to provide this information, although personal contact details are protected under the Data Protection Act.

Commercially sensitive and confidential information can be exempt from disclosure

It is therefore important that you bring to our attention in writing at the outset any information which you consider may, if disclosed, prejudice your commercial interests or which you consider would breach confidentiality.

You should also set out the reasons why and for what period you consider the information falls into these categories. It is then for us to decide whether we believe the information falls into these exempt categories if we were to subsequently receive a Freedom of Information request.

Other exemptions

We may also treat as an exception from disclosure information which, if disclosed, may prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs. This can be particularly relevant at the outset of major applications where a lot of exploratory discussion takes place.

If the disclosure of this exploratory information was likely to prejudice the process of leading to a proper determination of the subsequent planning application, then it may not be disclosable.

Apart from these exemptions any other recorded information resulting from these pre-application discussions is very likely to be disclosable when we receive a request from the public under EIR.

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