Details of Empty Commercial Properties

The request was partially successful.

Natalie Davis

Dear Sir or Madam

Please can you provide me with the following information under the Freedom Of Information Act 2000:-

(a) addresses and rateable values of empty Commercial properties that are within Carmarthenshire Council area; and

(b) the names of the owners of those properties referred to in (a)

Yours faithfully

Natalie Davis

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

Dear Ms Davis,

Thank you for your request for information regarding empty properties,
which was received on 7th May, 2009 and is being dealt with under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. We are therefore required to provide
you with a response within 20 working days, which will be on or before
5th June, 2009.

If we require any clarification or further details, we will contact you
as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to
contact me, remembering to quote the reference number above in any
communications.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Tel: (01267) 246108
Mewnol/Internal: 6108
Ffacs/Fax: (01267) 246134

show quoted sections

FOIA, Carmarthenshire Council

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Davis,

I refer to your request for information regarding empty commercial
properties in Carmarthenshire, which was received on 7th May, 2009 and
has been dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The specific information you requested was as follows:

a) addresses and rateable values of empty Commercial properties within
Carmarthenshire County Council area; and

b) the names of the owners of those properties referred to in (a)

In response, please find attached a list of addresses and rateable
values of empty commercial properties in Carmarthenshire.

However, I am withholding the names of the owners of the properties,
either companies or individuals, for reasons I will explain below.

Similar requests regarding vacant properties have been refused in their
entirety by some authorities and been subject to complaints to the
Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). In one such case, the ICO
issued a decision notice against the refusal of one Council to provide
information on empty properties on 25th July, 2006 (case reference
FS50072190) requiring the authority to provide part of the information
requested.

However, the ICO also ruled that the details of ownership of the
properties was exempt:

"The Commissioner understands that the Council holds some information in
respect of the ownership of empty properties on the Council tax
database. However, according to the Council it does not normally require
this information and therefore it does not hold information about
ownership in respect of every property in the Borough. In any case,
information about ownership of UK properties is made available to the
public for a small charge through the Land Registry's database.
Therefore, the information that the complainant requested about the
ownership of empty properties is exempt from disclosure by virtue of
section 21 of the Act because it is readily accessible to him by other
means.

The Commissioner is satisfied that information about the ownership of
empty properties is information which is reasonably accessible to the
complainant by other means. Therefore this part of the requested
information is exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 21 of the
Act."

As stated in the ICO's decision in this case, under Section 21 of the
Act, a public authority is not obliged to provide information which is
already reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means. As the
information is already made public by the Land Registry, I believe this
to be the case here.

Please therefore consider this email to be a formal notice under Section
17 that I am refusing to provide the details of property ownership you
have requested.

If you disagree with this decision or the way in which your request has
been dealt with, you have the right to complain in the first instance
to:

The Head of Administration & Law
Carmarthenshire County Council
County Hall
Carmarthen
SA31 1JP

Email: [email address]

If you remain unhappy with any subsequent decision, you have the right
to appeal to the Information Commissioner to rule on your complaint.
You may write to him at:

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

If I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

John Tillman
Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Diogelu Data
Adran y Prif Weithredwr
Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin

Information & Data Protection Officer
Chief Executive's Department
Carmarthenshire County Council

Tel: (01267) 246108
Mewnol/Internal: 6108
Ffacs/Fax: (01267) 246134

Mae’r e-bost hwn ac unrhyw atodiadau yn gyfrinachol ac wedi’u bwriadu at ddefnydd yr unigolyn y’u cyfeiriwyd ato/ati yn unigOs derbyniwch y neges hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i’r sawl a’i hanfonodd ar unwaith, dilëwch y neges o’ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau papur ohoni. Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i unrhyw un arall, na gweithredu ar sail y cynnwys.

Os derbyniwch y neges hon trwy gamgymeriad, rhowch wybod i’r sawl a’i hanfonodd ar unwaith, dilëwch y neges o’ch cyfrifiadur a dinistriwch unrhyw gopïau papur ohoni. Ni ddylech ddangos yr e-bost i unrhyw un arall, na gweithredu ar sail y cynnwys.

Eiddo’r awdur yw unrhyw farn neu safbwynt a fynegir, ac nid ydynt o reidrwydd yn cynrychioli safbwynt y Cyngor.

Dylech wirio am firysau eich hunan cyn agor unrhyw atodiad. Nid ydym yn derbyn unrhyw atebolrwydd am golled neu niwed a all fod wedi’i achosi gan firysau meddalwedd neu trwy ryng-gipio’r neges hon neu ymyrryd â hi

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