Dear Fylde Borough Council,
I am looking for a list of long term empty property lists within the councils area. Would you be able to supply me with these under the Freedom of Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal information simply the property address.
Good Morning Mr Church,
Thank you for your FOI request.
Whilst we hold a list of domestic empty properties, I am afraid we are unable to disclose this to you pursuant to section 31(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is because disclosing the addresses of empty properties would make it more likely that those properties would be the subject of burglary, damage or unlawful entry, which would prejudice the prevention of crime.
Section 31 is a qualified exemption, and so the public interest has been considered. Whilst it is accepted that there is an public interest in transparency in local government, and in particular in councils being accountable for their efforts to increase the supply of housing in their areas, this is outweighed by the public interest in preventing crime associated with empty properties. It is therefore considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
I am unsure if you are also seeking a list of commercial properties. Unfortunately, we do not hold such records. Traditionally a Council’s Economic Developemnt Officer may hold such details of vacant business but we do not have such a post in place. You could try Blackpool Council’s Economic Developemnt Team who could offer some professional advice for the Fylde coast generally.
I hope that is of some help.
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. An internal review request should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of this email and should be addressed to Ian Curtis at [email address] quoting reference number FOI/5630. If you then remain dissatisfied with the decision, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF; there is no charge for making an appeal. You can contact them on telephone number 0303 123 1113 or via their website at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/.
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