Stephen Whiteside

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

I note from the Application Form that pre-application advice [ 17/04670/PRE ] was provided in October 2017, which suggested "New proposal of the building".

Please provide any information relating to Mr Naylor's advice, including but not restricted to copies of what was submitted by the applicant, the minutes of any meeting[s] and the officer’s advice letter [or email].

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Whiteside

Freedom of Information,

 

Dear Mr Whiteside

 

Freedom of Information Request

 

Thank you for your recent request.

 

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Yours sincerely

 

Lynda Fay

FOI Co-ordinator

Croydon Council

 

Information in relation to the London Borough of Croydon is available
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Stephen Whiteside

Dear Freedom of Information,

Planning Application 17/05464/FUL - Pre-application advice.
Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

I refer to my request dated 7 January and your response dated 10 January 2018.

I have now noticed that in processing similar requests for ‘pre-application’ information on two other planning applications, the Council has failed to provide copies of anything of the pre-application submission itself, such as drawings, reports, fee calculations and/or covering letters etc.

[Your Refs: EIR/CRT/10008433 and F/CRT/10008767]

I would be grateful if you could ensure that this information IS provided with the Council’s initial response in this case, in order to avoid the need for a[nother] request for internal review.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Whiteside

Freedom of Information,

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Whiteside

 

Freedom of Information Request

Please see attached the council's response to your Freedom of Information
request.

Yours sincerely

 

Steven Borg

FOI Coordinator

Croydon Council

 

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new free My Croydon app for a faster, smarter and better way to report
local issues www.croydon.gov.uk/app From 1 October 2015, it is a legal
requirement for all privately rented properties in Croydon to be licensed.
Landlords without a licence could face fines of up to £20,000. For more
information and to apply for a licence visit
www.croydon.gov.uk/betterplacetorent Please use this web site address to
view the council's e-mail disclaimer -
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Dear Freedom of Information,

Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

I refer to your letter of 5 February and the information attached.

The Council’s response is CLEARLY INCOMPLETE, since it does NOT include the following:

1. the documentation contained WITHIN the applicant’s pre-application submission, and/or the related correspondence [on fees etc]. SEE MY EMAIL OF 15 JANUARY
2. the letters sent TO ‘Strategic Transport’ and the ‘arboriculture team’, requesting their observations on this submission, similar to that sent to ‘Spatial Planning’ on 20 September 2017.
3. NOTES of the pre-application meeting, which apparently took place on or around 5 October 2017, and
4. the OBSERVATIONS provided by ‘Spatial Planning’ on [or around] 6 October 2017 and by the ‘arboriculture team’ [apparently, at some point]

ALL this information SHOULD clearly have been included in your initial response, as it HAS been in the Council's response to similar requests. Please provide ALL the requested information without any further undue delay.

I reserve my right to request a review [regarding redaction etc], once the Council has provided a FULL AND PROPER response.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Croydon Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Planning Application 17/05464/FUL - Pre-application advice'. [Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869]

As set out in my email of 6 February 2018, the Council's initial response of 5 February was and remains SIGNIFICANTLY INCOMPLETE, since it does NOT include the following:
1. the documentation contained WITHIN the applicant’s pre-application submission, and/or the related correspondence [on fees etc]. SEE MY EMAIL OF 15 JANUARY
2. the letters sent TO ‘Strategic Transport’ and the ‘arboriculture team’, requesting their observations on this submission, similar to that sent to ‘Spatial Planning’ on 20 September 2017.
3. NOTES of the pre-application meeting, which apparently took place on or around 5 October 2017, and
4. the OBSERVATIONS provided by ‘Spatial Planning’ on [or around] 6 October 2017 and by the ‘arboriculture team’ [apparently, at some point]

Please provide copies of any information relating to the above matters ( and any other information relevant to the original request) without further undue delay.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Please note my arguments against the Council's apparent 'blanket' approach to redaction of personal information at this address:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside

Dear Freedom of Information,

Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

I requested an internal review on 20 March.

The Environmental Information Regulations state that internal reviews should take no longer than 40 working days to carry out. We are now passed that point.

If I don't receive the Council's decision on the internal review by 31 May, I will [again] complain to the Information Commissioner about the Council's handling of this Request.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Whiteside

Dear Freedom of Information,

Please note that I have now complained to the Information Commissioner about the Council's handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Whiteside

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Kind Regards

 

Information Team

Council services, online, 24/7 www.croydon.gov.uk/myaccount Download our
new free My Croydon app for a faster, smarter and better way to report
local issues www.croydon.gov.uk/app From 1 October 2015, it is a legal
requirement for all privately rented properties in Croydon to be licensed.
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Dear Croydon Borough Council,

Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

Please note that I have now complained to the Information Commissioner about the Council's handling of this request.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Whiteside

Derby, James,

3 Atodiad

Dear Mr Whiteside

I write further to your request for internal review regarding the request for information you made on 07 January 2018. I sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to your request for internal review which I have now completed.

In undertaking this internal review, I have examined your request for information contained in your email of 07 January 2018, the response issued by the Council on 05 February 2018 and your request for internal review of 20 March 2018.. I have also examined the provisions of the access to information legislations, relevant guidance notes and decision notices from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the First Tier Tribunal. I have then set out my decision as to whether or not the Council complied with its obligations under the relevant legislation.

Regulation 2 (1 a) of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) defines environmental information as "any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on—
(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements).

I note you requested information about planning application; this relates to information about land and landscape; I am therefore of the view that your request falls under terms of the EIR. Regulation 5 of the EIR provides that a public authority that holds environmental information shall make it available upon request. The ICO in a plethora decision notices have decided that information is held if it is formally recorded manually or electronically.

On 05 February 2018, pursuant to your EIR request, the Council provided you with documents which relates to your request; unfortunately by your email of 20 March 2018 you expressed your dissatisfaction with the information you were provided. In particular, you mentioned the information you were provided was "significantly incomplete" and that it did not include some information which you specifically listed in your email of 20 March 2018.

Following your request for internal review, I contacted the planning team and made enquiries about the concerns you raised; I have been provided with the response below:

1. the documentation contained within the applicant’s pre-application submission, and/or the related correspondence [on fees etc].and. the letters sent TO ‘Strategic Transport’ and the ‘arboriculture team’, requesting their observations on this submission, similar to that sent to ‘Spatial Planning’ on 20 September 2017 are all contained in the documents disclosed to you on 05 February 2018. I am advised the Council does not hold any other documents relating to the part of your request.

3. there are no notes of the pre-application meeting, which took place on 5 October 2017.

4. there is no formal record of the observations provided by ‘Spatial Planning’ on [or around] 6 October 2017 neither is there any formal record of information by the ‘arboriculture team’. In respect to the spatial comments relating to 43 Downsway, please see attached information which has been found on the system.

I trust you find this satisfactory; if you however remain dissatisfied with this decision, you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or at [email address].

James Derby
Corporate Solicitor
Legal & Democratic Services
Resources Department
London Borough of Croydon
Bernard Weatherhill House
8 Mint Walk
CR0 1EA
Tel: 020 8760 6000 Ext. 61359
Fax: 020 8760 5657

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

I refer to the Council’s email of 10 June 2018 and Mr Derby’s decision on the internal review.

I note that although this ‘review’ was ostensibly carried out by a ‘Corporate Solicitor’, the Authority’s final decision is clearly based entirely on a response provided by its ‘planning team’, possibly the very same officer(s) who provided the initial response.

+++ Aventier’s ‘Request for Pre-Application Planning Advice’ (8 September 2017)

Mr Derby maintains that copies of all the information held with regard to the applicant’s pre-application submission (including drawings) and related correspondence were provided on 5 February 2018. This is NOT the case and the Council has still not provided ANY of that information as part of this request.

I do not accept Mr Derby’s alternative suggestion that the Council holds NONE of this information, for the following reasons:
a) The Authority HAS provided such information in response to separate EIR requests regarding contemporaneous advice given on VERY similar proposals for other sites submitted by the SAME developer.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

b) Information posted by the Council 26 April 2018, on the WRONG whatdotheyknow correspondence thread, clearly shows that further information relevant to THIS request IS held by the Council.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

That information referred to at (b) above consists of the formal ‘Request for Pre-Application Planning Advice’ submitted by Aventier on 8 September 2017, regarding the company’s proposals at “43 Downsway Road ...”. The form explains that under Freedom of Information legislation, “there is a presumption that Councils should disclose information (including pre-application information) to the public”. The form asks the specific question “Do you wish the Council to treat pre-application information relating to the advice as confidential?”, to which Aventier answer “No”! ‘Confidentiality’ is therefore no reason to withhold this information.

This site in question has since been the subject of a full planning permission approved by Committee [17/05464/FUL] and another [18/00784/CONR] permitted under ‘delegated powers’, quite possibly by the same planning officers who have managed this Request.

+++ Notes of pre-application meeting (5 October 2017).

Basic, good planning practice would determine that notes SHOULD have been taken and circulated/agreed as necessary.

+++ Consultation – In-house Requests for Observations

Mr Derby maintains that copies of the letters sent TO ‘Strategic Transport’ and the ‘arboriculture team’, requesting their observations on this submission (similar to that sent to ‘Spatial Planning’ on 20 September 2017) were provided on 5 February 2018. That is NOT the case.

The ONLY formal request by Development Management for observations was/is that sent to ‘Spatial Planning’.

+ Observations of Spatial Planning.
The only additional information provided following the Review was a document entitled “43 Downsway Here you go....html”
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/4...

Though this does appear to be comments provided by ‘Spatial Planning’ (Tom Selby) on this particular (pre-)application, there is no indication of who they were sent to, or when (no date).

HOWEVER, the information on pages 16-17 of the ‘slab’ of information provided on 5 February 2018, include two documents dated 6 October 2017 sent by the Council’s “Spatial Planning Service” to the case officer (Robert Naylor, or “mate”), which clearly refer to “Observations on Planning Application 17/04670/PRE”. Page 17 includes that “The comments made can be viewed in Notes within Consultations and this letter has been saved into the Document Management System.”

On the evidence available, I believe it reasonable to conclude that the one document provided as a result of the Review is indeed “... the observations provided by ‘Spatial Planning’ on [or around] 6 October 2017...”, even though the Council claim there is no record of them.

+ The Review confirms that there is no record of the Council’s ‘Arboriculture Team’ being consulted on this application OR of any comments being provided and/or received.

Though this should NOT be necessary, given the above concerns I will now complain to the Information Commissioner about how the Council has handled this request.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Whiteside

Gadawodd Stephen Whiteside anodiad ()

I believe that Council officers are wrongly withholding information and so have asked the ICO to look into this matter further.

LBC Ref: F/CRT/10008869
ICO Case Reference Number FER0751897

Dear Croydon Borough Council,

Your Ref: F/CRT/10008869

The Information Commissioner's Office has today informed me that my complaint has been accepted as eligible for further consideration and will be allocated to a case officer as soon as possible.

ICO Case Reference Number FER0751897

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Whiteside

Gadawodd Stephen Whiteside anodiad ()

I was informed on 5 October that this case has now been allocated to a Senior Case Officer at the ICO, Richard Lawanson.

ICO Case Reference Number FER0751897

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