Complete Non-Residential / Business Property Rates Data (Q4 2020)

The request was successful.

Dear Northumberland County 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 your local authority’s complete and most-recently updated list of all business (non-residential) property rates data, including the following fields:

- Billing Authority Property Reference Code (linking the property to the public VOA database reference)
- Firm's Trading Name (i.e. property occupant or ratepayer)
- Full Property Address (Number, Street, Postal Code, Town)
- Occupation / Vacancy status
- Date of Occupation / Vacancy
- Actual annual rates charged (in Pounds) and/or categories of reliefs/exemptions granted

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.

NOTE: While FOIs are meant to be requestor blind, these data are actively used by national government and UK universities to inform the economic response to COVID-19. Commercial ratepayer data are always of public interest but, in the midst of a global pandemic and its consequent devastating economic fallout, these data are vital to track business behaviour and guide government and enterprise adaptation to the social impact of COVID-19. Please publish quickly so that organisations trying to support your local authority can do so, and, if you have any difficulties, please contact me so that I may help.

Please provide these data as machine-readable as either a CSV or Microsoft Excel file, capable of re-use, and under terms of the Open Government Licence (reuse for any and all purposes, including commercial).

I last requested these data three months ago, and this is a request for your latest updated dataset.

Yours faithfully,

Gavin Chait

Northumberland County Council

1 Attachment

Our Ref: 8750  

Dear Enquirer,


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.

Please note, that due to the recent outbreak of Covid-19, there may be a
delay in responding to your request. We appreciate your patience at this
busy period.

Kind regards

Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]

Northumberland County Council

4 Attachments

Our Ref: 8750

Date: 14 January 2021

Dear Enquirer,


I refer to your Freedom of Information request for details of business
rate accounts.

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

The public interest test requires Northumberland County Council to confirm
that we hold information in relation to business rate accounts.


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

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

Section 21 of the Act states that a public Authority does not need to
provide information under section 1 of the Act if that information is
reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means.

The information is available by accessing the following
link: Unfortunately due
to current circumstances the website has not been updated with the latest
datasets, therefore they are attached to this email.

Notice of Refusal

Please treat this letter as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information
covered by the Section 21 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.


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
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

Tel: 0303 123 1113
Email: [email address]

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Yours faithfully

FOI Coordinator - Revenues & Benefits
Information Governance Office
Northumberland County Council
County Hall
NE61 2EF

Tel: 0345 600 6400
Email: [Northumberland County Council request email]