Information Commissioner decision on Silver Hill viability assessment

Press Release: 23/09/2015

Silver Hill

Winchester City Council has welcomed a decision by the Information Commissioner about a viability assessment related to the Silver Hill development.

The Commissioner recognises and agrees that the majority of the information in the viability assessment ought to remain confidential because disclosure would adversely affect economic interests, but finds that some of the information can be disclosed in the public interest.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

I welcome the report from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

It confirms that the Council made the correct assessment of the need to keep this viability information confidential in line with current practice, but clarifies what can and should be disclosed in the public interest.

We do not anticipate any commercial impact from the requirement to disclose high-level summary information such as the net development value and profit by 22 October.”

Cllr Godfrey added:

This report may set a precedent for information that needs to be disclosed about other viability assessments in the future and that is something we will look at carefully.

The decision does not overturn or require the release of all commercially-exempt information, nor does the Commissioner criticise the procurement or architecture of the Silver Hill scheme.