Financial Viability of proposed Heygate redevelopment

R Novakovic made this Freedom of Information request to Southwark Borough 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 partially successful.

Dear Southwark Borough Council,

I would like to request documents relating to planning submission 12/AP/1092, in particular, the minutes of meetings held between Council officers and Lend Lease, held on the following dates:

1) 13 July 2011
2) 21 September 2011
3) 8 February 2012

as outlined in Appendix 4 of this document: http://planningonline.southwark.gov.uk/D...

Yours faithfully,
R Novakovic

Regeneration & Neighbourhoods, Southwark Borough Council

Southwark Council - Information request (FOI/EIR)

Our reference: 225435

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Dear Sirs

Re: Your request for information: 225435

Thank you for your request for information that was received on 10 May
2012 in which you requested:

I would like to request documents relating to planning submission
12/AP/1092, in particular, the minutes of meetings held between
Council officers and Lend Lease, held on the following dates:

1) 13 July 2011
2) 21 September 2011
3) 8 February 2012

as outlined in Appendix 4 of this document:
[1]http://planningonline.southwark.gov.uk/D...

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 defines a number
of exceptions that may restrict the release of the requested information.
There will be an assessment and if any of the exceptions categories apply
then the information may not be released. You will be informed if this is
the case, including your rights of appeal.

The information provided will be in English, normal font size. If you
require alternative formats, e.g. other language, audio, large print, etc.
please notify us.

If we are unable to provide you with the information requested we will
notify you of this together with the reason(s) why and details of how you
may appeal (if appropriate).

Further information is available through the Information Commissioner at
the:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire. SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Internet: [2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours faithfully

 

Martyna Plewniak
Project Officer
[email address]

References

Visible links
1. http://planningonline.southwark.gov.uk/D...
2. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Wannop, Laura, Southwark Borough Council

3 Attachments

Dear R Novakovic,

 

Re: Your request for information: 225435

 

Thank you for your request for information that was received on 10 May
2012 in which you requested:

 

I would like to request documents relating to planning submission
12/AP/1092, in particular, the minutes of meetings held between Council
officers and Lend Lease, held on the following dates:

 

1)            13 July 2011

2)            21 September 2011

3)            8 February 2012

 

Your request has been dealt with under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004.

 

Please note that as the information requested related to information
provided by third parties, the council notified them of this request and
offered them the opportunity to discuss any particular issues or concerns
that they considered relevant to the question of disclosure of this
information before the council decided whether or not to release the
information.  However, although the council is obliged to offer the third
party this opportunity, the decision on whether to release any information
lies ultimately with the council.

 

Having considered your request and the third party response to this,
please find attached, the minutes from the three meetings stated in your
request.

 

Some information (specifically, information in relation to discussions of
viability) within these minutes has been redacted.  This is being withheld
under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the exception
that applies to the redacted information in all three documents is:
Regulation 12(5)(e) where disclosure would adversely affect the 
commercial interests of the council and / or any third party

 

Reliance upon an exemption under the EIR is always subject to the
requirement under Regulation 12(1)(b) that the public interest in
maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the
information.

 

In this instance, the council asserts that the public interest in
providing this information does not out weigh the likely prejudice to
commercial and economic interests of both the council and the third party.

 

In arriving at this view, the council has considered the following factors
both for and against the release of information.

 

Factors in favour of release:

·               Regulation 5 of the Environmental Information Regulations
states where a public authority holds environmental information; it shall
make it available on request and, as a starting point, the council is
required to apply a presumption in favour of disclosure.

·               The specific request is in relation to a large scale
regeneration scheme covering a large area of the borough and affecting
many residents as a result.  The sheer scale of the plans carries with it
an inherent amount of public interest.

 

Factors in favour of withholding:

·               The fact that the discussions noted included commercial
assumptions and calculations applied by the third party, which if
disclosed would adversely affect the council’s and third party’s economic
interests as well as placing the third party at a competitive disadvantage
in any future development opportunity

·               The fact that within the regeneration agreement signed by
the council and the third party, the council have agreed to maintain
confidentiality of all confidential information provided by the third
party (please note, the council acknowledges this is a consideration only
and does not confer the right of absolute confidentiality under EIR
legislation)

·               The fact that when releasing information under the
legislation it is considered releasing information to the public as a
whole however, subsequent to this, all parties have a right to negotiate
for the best economic outcome of this or any development free from
external prejudice and potential competitive scrutiny

·               The fact that some of these negotiations are ongoing

·               The fact the council has the right to a free and frank
exchange of issues / ideas regarding these negotiations and to release the
early discussions would be likely to prejudice the council’s negotiating
position in relation to future major developments

 

It is the council’s assertion that the factors in favour of withholding
the commercial information outweigh the factors in favour of release and
therefore, in accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make an appeal for a review of our decision, please
write to the:

 

Corporate Freedom of Information officer
The Governance team (2^nd Floor)
PO Box 64529 London.  SE1P 5LX
Email: [1][Southwark Borough Council request email]

 

If you are not content with the outcome your appeal, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have first
exhausted our internal appeal procedure and you should contact him within
2 months of the outcome of your internal appeal.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available through
the Information Commissioner at the:

 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire.  SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Internet: [2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Laura Wannop

Departmental coordinator

 

Chief executive’s office

Deputy chief executive’s department

5^th Floor, hub 4

PO Box 64529, SE1P 5LX

160 Tooley Street, SE1 2QH

 

[3]www.southwark.gov.uk/regeneration

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
3. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/regeneration