TORY councillors’ concerns over the William Hunter Way plans have heightened after a Freedom of Information request returned a 425-page blacked out document.

Last Monday, Russell Quirk and William Lloyd went against their fellow Conservative councillors at a Brentwood Council debate looking at the project.

The pair’s concerns escalated when a Freedom of Information request made by Mr Quirk to the council relating to the project returned a 425-page document, almost entirely blacked out.

Mr Quirk said: “We were told by Louise McKinlay earlier this year, the revised deal would be done behind closed doors, something I objected to because this is too big a deal to be kept out of view.

“When you get a document like this though, it just makes you think ‘what are they trying to hide?’”

During Monday’s full council debate, Mr Lloyd, councillor for Warley, said what the public sees is the most important thing. He said: “This council strives to be as transparent as possible, but I think in this case we have not practised what we preach.”

A council spokesman said: “A decision was taken, based on advice, to include completely redacted pages as part of the bundle.

“But we wanted to be sure we provided the councillor with all the information, so I asked someone independent to review it.

“Following this, we were pleased we were then able to provide more information.”