Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Q4 2017)

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan Sutton Borough Council.

Dear Sutton Borough Council,

In terms of the Freedom of Information Act of 2000, and subject to section 40(2) on personal data, could you please provide me with a complete and up-to-date list of all business (non-residential) property rates data for your local authority, and including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Reference Code (linking the property to the VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupied / Vacant
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds)

If you are unable to provide an absolute “Occupation / Vacancy” status, please provide the Exemptions and / or Reliefs that a particular property may be receiving.

Please provide this as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence.

I last requested this data three months ago, and this is a request for an updated and current dataset.

I'm sure you get many requests for business rates and responding and managing these FOIs must be costly for you. Could I request that - as more than 53% of local authorities already do - you update and release this dataset via a dedicated page on your local authority website or on an open data service. I can recommend approaches for you to consider, and you should find that this reduces the time and cost of this request process.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

LBS FOI, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Chait
- F11321 (please quote in correspondence)
I acknowledge your request for information dated the 09 October 2017
relating to Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Q4
Your request is being considered and, if it is held, you will receive the
information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as
defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information
not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.
If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font
size.  If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large
print, etc. then please let us know.
For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may
prevent release of the information you have requested.  There will be an
assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the
information will not be released.  You will be informed if this is the
case, including your rights of appeal.
If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information to you.  You will be informed if this is the case.
A fee may be payable for this information.  This will be considered and
you will be informed if a fee is payable.  In this event the fee must be
paid before the information is processed and released.  The 20 working day
time limit is suspended until receipt of the payment.
Please be advised that in line with London Borough of Sutton's commitment
to transparency, in due course an anonymous copy of your request and our
response may be published on our website.
Yours sincerely
FOI Admin Officer
London Borough of Sutton

Knowles Neil, Sutton Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Gavin Chait


Further to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the
information you requested is available on our website at;


This information is updated annually and is not available on an ad hoc

Yours sincerely


Neil Knowles

Computer Support Officer

Resources Directorate,

London Borough of Sutton, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, SUTTON, SM1 1EA.

Tel: [2]+44 (020) 8770 6942

web site: [3]

Follow us on [4]flickr
Follow us on twitter [5]@SuttonCouncil
Like us on [6]facebook/lovesutton


Disclaimers apply, for full details see : 


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Dear Knowles Neil,

I am aware that you usually publish your data at, however the occupancy status of each property (occupied/void) is not included.

Please could you update this and provide an updated version of your data.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

Neil Knowles, Sutton Borough Council

Hello Gavin
Apologies I should have pointed out that the Council does not publish
details of empty/void properties.

Dear Neil Knowles,

You need to provide a formal reason as to why you refuse to publish. However, to pre-empt this ...

In November 2016, I appealed this class of Regulation 31(1)(a) refusal - specifically as it relates to this request - to the Information Commissioner’s Office and they issued a Decision Notice (FS50628943 -, and FS50628978 - on 28 February 2017 finding that “it is not correct to withhold this information under Regulation 31(1)(a)”, and that “the public interest in the information being disclosed outweighs that in the exemption being maintained”.

I can simply refer this matter to ICO, who will be in contact to ask that you honour their Decision Notice, or you could reconsider and publish the data as requested.

I do not consider this a request for Internal Review (since this entire matter has already been appealed and a decision issued) and, if you are unable to provide the data as requested, I will refer this refusal to ICO.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Chait

Neil Knowles, Sutton Borough Council

Hello Gavin
I understand you requested an Internal Review from a previous FOI under
reference F9197 and this was subsequently been referred to the ICO. We
have received confirmation from the ICO on the 12 July 2016 advising us
that they will be investigating our handling of the initial FOI response
and that of the subsequent Internal Review. 
We have not received a decision from the ICO relating to Sutton and until
such is received our position on empty properties remains as set out

31 Law enforcement

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

 31 Law enforcement

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is
exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be
likely to, prejudice—

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

Factors for withholding Factors for disclosure
¨       Prevention of squatting and ¨       Promotion of the re-use
criminal damage which might occur if of empty properties
addresses of empty propertieswere in
the public domain

¨       Withholding the data enables
individuals to better protect
their properties
Reasons why public interest favours withholding information

¨       There is an increased danger of criminal damage to properties or
use of properties by squatters if the addresses are in the public domain.
In particular, websites aimed at squatters advise
on empty properties which might be accessible.

¨       Individuals are less likely to be able to protect
their properties against criminal damage or other invasive activity.

¨       Therefore for those properties owned by individuals the public
interest lies in withholding the information to enable them to better
protect and secure their properties.


Neil Knowles