Private meetings with developers: the law and the honourable way of dealing with this

4 Dec

From an answer on Whatdotheyknow:

Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960

The FOI Act does not amend the provision in the 1960 Act which allows local councils to exclude the press and public by resolution if publicity would prejudice the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business or for some other reason stated in the resolution. 

However, the effect of the FOI Act is that any information held by the council which relates to matters discussed, either in open or private session (e.g. in a report or minutes), may have to be disclosed unless one of the exemptions under the Act applies.

How another council handled this matter:

The Clerk had received a request from Cam Architects regarding the submission of a future planning application on land adjacent to Reepham Old Railway Station, Station Road / Stoney Lane. The architects had requested a meeting with the Town Council to take on board any comments that may be of use in a planning application. The Chairman confirmed that, as per previous requests received from developers, the Town Council would not meet in private but would welcome participation in any public meeting.



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