The complainant has asked Wychavon District Council (“the Council”) for information relating to two development sites, including any pre-application advice given to the promoters of the sites by Worcestershire County Council and Wychavon District Council. In its response to the complainant, the Council advised him that it did not hold any pre-application advice provided by Worcestershire County Council. It did however confirm that it holds other information which was being withheld in reliance on sections 41(1), 43(1) and 40(2) of the FOIA. The Commissioner’s decision is that Worcestershire County Council has complied with Regulation 5(1) of the EIR. She accepts that, on the balance of probability, the Council does not hold any pre-application advice given to it by Worcestershire County Council or any technical Highway studies. The Commissioner has also decided that the Council is entitled to withhold the information it does hold, which is relevant to the complainant’s request, in reliance on Regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIR. The Commissioner is satisfied that the Council provided the complainant with appropriate advice and assistance under Regulation 9 of the EIR.

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