Dear Merton Borough Council,
I am looking for a list of long term empty property within the
councils area. I'm particularly looking for empty homes owned by
individuals or businesses that I could purchase, renovate and bring back
to use. Would you be able to supply me with these under the Freedom of
Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal
information simply the property address.
Thank you for your email message. We aim to respond to all requests under
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 within 20 working days.
More information about the way we deal with information requests is on our
web site at www.merton.gov.uk/foi.
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Merton.
020 8545 4634
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST F10821
We have now considered your request for information as set in your email
The information requested will not be disclosed and in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 this is a Refusal Notice.
This information is considered exempt under section 31(a) of the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 – Law Enforcement and the prevention or detection
of crime. This applies to this information because if it were disclosed
it would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by placing empty
properties and their surrounds, at higher risk of crime (specifically from
squatting, anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, criminal damage, arson,
and building stripping by organised groups). In applying this exemption
we are required to assess whether or not disclosure would be in the public
Public interest arguments in favour of disclosure include the general
benefits associated with greater openness and transparency and more
specific benefits, such as increasing the likelihood that empty properties
could be brought back into use. However, I do not think these benefits
outweigh the potential harm that could be caused by the increased
likelihood of crime. Therefore, on balance, I believe that disclosure
would not be in the public interest and that this exemption applies.
In making this decision I have been mindful of the decisions taken by the
Information Commissioner, available here:
And the associated decision taken by the Information Tribunal, reference
EA-2011-0007, available here:
You can appeal against the decision, if you wish to, please contact the
Head of Information at Merton Council, Civic Centre, Morden, SM4 5DX or
e-mail [Merton Borough Council request email]
You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113. Website: www.ico.org.uk
Information Governance Officer
Information Governance Team
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