Abandoned / Derelict Buildings

James Cotton made this Freedom of Information request to Northumberland County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Northumberland County Council.

Dear Northumberland County Council,

I am contacting you to enquire about any abandoned / derelict buildings which are held by Northumberland County Council.

This includes names, addresses and use type (or previous usage).
This would mean all buildings that are unoccupied, abandoned and/or Derelict, and include Business, buildings held by Northumberland County Council. This should include any buildings under demolition or marked for demolition.

I am not however asking for a list of empty residential homes which are available for rent/purchase.

Yours faithfully,

James Cotton

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 3860  

Dear Enquirer,

INFORMATION REQUEST

Thank you for your request for information which will be dealt with under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental
Information Regulations 2004.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we
will let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

If you have any queries about this matter please contact us. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 3860   

Dear Enquirer

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

I refer to your Freedom of Information request for details regarding
abandoned/derelict/vacant buildings. 

Right of Access

Section 1(1) of the Act provides any person making a request for
information to a public authority is entitled.

(a) to be informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds
information of the description specified in the request (which Section
1(6) of the Act designates as the "duty to confirm or deny"), and

(b) if that is the case, to have that information communicated to him.

The right is to obtain access to the information itself and not to the
document or record which contains it.

The Act creates a general right of access to information held by public
authorities subject to various exemptions.

Duty to confirm or deny

We hold the information you requested. However we are withholding that
information since we consider that the exemption under Section 31(1)(a)
applies.

We consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
I am contacting you to enquire about any abandoned / derelict buildings
which are held by Northumberland County Council.
This includes names, addresses and use type (or previous usage).
This would mean all buildings that are unoccupied, abandoned and/or
Derelict, and include Business, buildings held by Northumberland County
Council. This should include any buildings under demolition or marked for
demolition.

I am not however asking for a list of empty residential homes which are
available for rent/purchase.

For security reasons the County Council is not able to release information
relating to abandoned, derelict or vacant buildings.  Therefore we have
applied the Section 31 Exemption.  

If there is a specific building you are interested in
please provide further details and we will look into this further for
you. 
Exemptions

The Freedom of Information Act sets out various exemptions to the right of
access.

In the present case the County Council takes the view that the information
relating to your request is exempt under the following provisions;

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,
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,
(c) the administration of justice,
(d) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition
of a similar nature,
(e) the operation of the immigration controls,
(f) the maintenance of security and good order in prisons or in other
institutions where persons are lawfully detained,
(g) the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the
purposes specified in subsection (2),
(h) any civil proceedings which are brought by or on behalf of a public
authority and arise out of an investigation conducted, for any of the
purposes specified
in subsection (2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her
Majesty’s prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an
enactment, or
(i) any inquiry held under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiries
(Scotland) Act 1976 to the extent that the inquiry arises out of an
investigation conducted, for any of the purposes specified in subsection
(2), by or on behalf of the authority by virtue of Her Majesty’s
prerogative or by virtue of powers conferred by or under an enactment.

(2) The purposes referred to in subsection (1)(g) to (i) are—

(a) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply
with the law,
(b) the purpose of ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any
conduct which is improper,
(c) the purpose of ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise,
(d) the purpose of ascertaining a person’s fitness or competence in
relation to the management of bodies corporate or in relation to any
profession or other activity which he is, or seeks to become, authorised
to carry on,
(e) the purpose of ascertaining the cause of an accident,
(f) the purpose of protecting charities against misconduct or
mismanagement (whether by trustees or other persons) in their
administration,
(g) the purpose of protecting the property of charities from loss or
misapplication,
(h) the purpose of recovering the property of charities,
(i) the purpose of securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at
work, and
(j) the purpose of protecting persons other than persons at work against
risk to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the actions
of persons at work.

(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice
any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

Notice of Refusal

Please treat this letter as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information
covered by the Section 31 Exemption.

Advice and Assistance

The County Council recognises its statutory duty to provide advice and
assistance under Section 16 of the Act.

Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the Council
is seeking to be transparent and open in its response.

Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request an internal review by writing within 2 months
from the date of this response to the Information Governance Office:

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
NE61 2EF

Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]

Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right by Section 50 of the Act to apply to the Information
Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request has been dealt with
in accordance with the requirements of the Act at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745 / Fax: 01625 524 510
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal

Yours sincerely

FOI Coordinator - Property
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]
Web: http://www.northumberland.gov.uk