Our Ref: MGLA200420-9439
15 May 2020
Dear Ms Gniewosz
Thank you for your request for information which the Greater London Authority (GLA) received
on 17 April 2020. Your request has been dealt with under the Environmental Information
regulations (EIR) 2004.
You asked for:
Provide a copy of all reports, communications that the GLA holds on Cressingham
Gardens Estate regeneration in the borough of Lambeth. This may also be referred to
Trinity Rise site or Longford Walk
Our response to your request is as follows:
In February 2017, we previously advised you that your request for all correspondence with
Lambeth council in connection with decent homes backlog funding would be manifestly
unreasonable and we consider that this request is even wider in scope and falls under the
exception under regulation 12(4)(b) as ‘manifestly unreasonable’. Under the EIR public
authorities may refuse requests that are manifestly (i.e. obviously or clearly) unreasonable when
the cost of compliance is too great.
The GLA considers that it would be manifestly unreasonable (within the meaning of regulation
12(4)(b) of the EIR) to have to review the entire content of all communications in a granular
way in order to apply the EIR, which would include a process of identifying what information
could and equally could not be disclosed.
A public authority can only withhold information if the public interest in maintaining the
exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. We are mindful of the
general public interest in transparency and accountability, and of the presumption in favour of
disclosure and to read exceptions restrictively.
We consider that a proportion of the information would be likely engage one or more of the
disclosure exception provisions of the EIR. We would therefore have to spend a considerable
amount of time reviewing each piece of information individually to considering whether it would
be exempt from disclosure.
We also note that a large volume of information caught by this request will be administrative in
nature and which we do not consider would inform any public debate in a meaningful way. The
time and resources required to review this information wold be unreasonable given the potential
for it to remain exempt information and (where it is suitable for release under the EIR) the
limited benefit to the public debate on this matter given the information already publicly
available on this matter.
On balance therefore, it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the exception in
regulation 12(4)(b) outweighs the public interest in disclosure. I understand this response may
cause frustration, but it aims to ensure - as recognised in the guidance - that our responsibilities
under the act do not distract from our other statutory functions as a public authority.
The Information Commissioners Office have providing guidance1 to members of the public on
submitting ‘catch-all’ requests for information to help highlight the potential problems in
submitting broad requests that could either be open-ended or involve large quantities of
Information request dos and don’ts: Send ‘catch-all’ requests for information (such as
‘please provide me with everything you hold about ‘x’) when you aren’t sure what
specific documents to ask for.
It is also highly likely that there will also be some repetition within previous requests you have
submitted, for example:
I appreciate it is often difficult to understand how an organisation such as the GLA holds and
stores its information and it is our job to help provide advice and assistance to help you
understand what we hold and what we could retrieve in response to your request:
You may wish to provide some further context to your request on what information you are
seeking so that we can target our searches accordingly (and avoid any repetition covering your
previous requests). You may wish to ask about the current funding allocations and conditions
for the Cressingham Estate and the current status of any ballot exemption, for example. It would
also be helpful if you could provide a reasonable time frame and name the parties with who you
are in interested in receiving communications with.
If you have any further questions relating to this matter, please contact me, quoting the
reference at the top of this letter.
Yours sincerely Paul Robinson
Information Governance Officer
If you are unhappy with the way the GLA has handled your request, you may complain using the
GLA’s FOI complaints and internal review procedure, available at: https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/sharing-our-