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BeWILDerwood report must be released to member of the public
AN independent body has called on Cheshire East Council to release a report about its plans to build an adventure playground in Tatton Park to a member of the public after initially refusing the request.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has ordered the authority to release the document ‘Tatton Park Report pt 2’ after its officers rejected the request from a Knutsford resident in June 2012.
The request related to the council’s plans to build the BeWILDerwood playground in the park in conjunction with Bure Valley Adventures Ltd.
The council refused the document request from the resident on the grounds of commercial confidentiality and intellectual property rights.
But the resident then complained to the commissioner, and on Monday the office agreed that the council was wrong to block the document being released.
In its 27-page report – which the Guardian has seen – the commissioner said the ‘public interest favours disclosing the information’ and the council has not ‘demonstrated that the exception for commercial confidentiality is engaged’.
A spokesperson for STAG (Save Tatton Action Group) told the Guardian the group was looking at what ramifications this could have for the future of the scheme, and urged the council to release the document as soon as possible.
“The many issues raised in the Information Commissioner’s Office’s decision notice echo those raised by the Save Tatton Action Group (STAG) from the early stages of the planning application for the £6.5 million BeWILDerwood theme park,” she said.
“We trust the council will release the Tatton Park Report part 2 immediately so council tax and business rate payers can judge for themselves whether their elected representatives are spending our money wisely.”
The council has 35 days to comply with the report, and failure to do so could lead to a High Court action.
A Cheshire East Council spokesman told the Guardian on Tuesday: “We have recently received the Information Commissioner’s decision notice, and are in the process of looking at its recommendations.”