Jonathan Darby, instructed by Winckworth Sherwood partner Colette McCormack and acting on behalf of the Arvin Group of Companies, has successfully secured the release of the full Development Agreement relating to the Blackwall Reach CPO. The disclosure is the final chapter in a long-running saga that began with a request made under freedom of information legislation (specifically the Environmental Information Regulations) immediately following the closure of the 15 day public inquiry into the Blackwall Reach CPO.
Arvin’s request was initially refused by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets owing to the alleged application of an exemption under Regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIR. However, there followed a sequence of further releases by the LBTH before the Information Commissioner issued a decision dated 29 April 2015 requiring the full disclosure of the disputed information. The LBTH appealed that decision, continuing to maintain the application of the relevant exemption. However, following receipt of written submissions on behalf of Arvin – and the Secretary of State’s decision not to confirm the CPO in full (see news story here) – the LBTH conceded that disclosure of the disputed information was in the public interest and finally released an unredacted copy of the development agreement.
Arvin are now seeking to recover their costs of the original request and appeal that have been occasioned by the LBTH’s conduct of the matter.