Dear Hertsmere Borough Council
I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information from you.
1) How many units of residential housing have been approved for construction by the local authority across Hertsmere in the calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020?
2) What proportion of these were built for the purposes of a) Market Housing b) Social, Affordable or Intermediate Rent c) Affordable Home Ownership d) Starter Homes e) Self Build and Custom Build
3) Please provide a breakdown of points 1) and 2) by for each of Borehamwood, Bushey, Elstree, Potters Bar, Radlett, Shenley and other, for each of those three years.
4) How many residential housing planning applications have been approved by the local authority in Borehamwood, Bushey, Elstree, Potters Bar, Radlett, Shenley and other in the calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020?
5) How many of these planning applications have been approved despite being situated on designated Green Belt land and in which of the above areas?
Please provide the information in the form of an email reply to me and via What Do They Know? The above might be provided most easily in table format.
If it is not possible to provide the information requested due to this exceeding the cost of compliance limits identified in Section 12, please provide advice and assistance, under the Section 16 obligations of the Act, as to how I can refine my request.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or phone and I will be very happy to clarify what I am asking for and discuss the request, my details are outlined below.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.
Dr Dan Ozarow
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Good Morning Dan,
I hope you don’t mind that I have come to you directly, I am just aware
that the person who deals with information requests is off until Tuesday…
You have asked in question 1 how many units have been approved, but then
in Q2 you have used the past tense, when most of them will not have been
built- did you mean to ask what proportion will be for…or are did you mean
something else? This also impacts on the answer to Q3 as well.
1) How many units of residential housing have been approved for
construction by the local authority across Hertsmere in the calendar years
2018, 2019 and 2020?
2) What proportion of these were built for the purposes of a) Market
Housing b) Social, Affordable or Intermediate Rent c) Affordable Home
Ownership d) Starter Homes e) Self Build and Custom Build
3) Please provide a breakdown of points 1) and 2) by for each of
Borehamwood, Bushey, Elstree, Potters Bar, Radlett, Shenley and other, for
each of those three years.
Senior Planning Officer
Hertsmere Borough Council | Civic Offices | Elstree Way | Borehamwood |
Herts | WD6 1WA
t: 020 8207 5541
email: [email address]
Thank you for seeking clarification on the above.
Let’s slightly rephrase question 2 to make it simpler.
“What proportion of these were approved for…” (instead of built), that way covering all those that were approved but also those that were approved and still under construction or already built.
Hopefully that will also serve for question 3.
Do let me know if you need further clarification.
Dr Dan Ozarow
Ok thanks for the clarification.
I am having a little trouble obtaining a breakdown of approvals by occupancy type, I know it exists for completions as I have used it before, but then that would skew the data a little if I had number of approvals and occupancy type for completions. It would take me well over the allotted time to check each residential app that had been approved for occupancy type.
If it might take you longer than the allotted time, I can wait as there is no urgent rush for this. We could agree a reasonable time period perhaps?
I assumed that this is the kind of data that Hertsmere Borough Council is required to monitor and report on in any case?
Good Morning Dan
You would be talking about literally hundreds of applications (in fact 306 as I already have obtained that information!). I don't think that is something I can realistically do. I would need to speak to Caroline who manages the foi's, who is off again until Monday and my manager, as we are at a very busy period with plan preparation.
I have found some data on affordable homes without specifying the type, which would narrow my search, but it is for a snapshot in time, i.e. you cannot search between dates.
I have asked someone who has used the systems we have for longer than me whether there is anything else I can obtain, and the implications of the 'snapshot' rather than the time range, so I am doing what I can. Myself or Caroline will update you next week.
Thank you for the update. I appreciate that this must be a busy time with the forthcoming Local Plan.
I didn't want to create a lot of work for you and Caroline but assumed that the Borough Council already maintains information on the number of units of housing it approves for construction in its different towns, and especially affordable housing figures that appear in the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government's annual statistics.
I look forward to hearing from you and Caroline next week and trust that you will find a way of supplying this information.
Dear Martin Ross,
I hope that you are doing well.
As you will be aware, by law, the authority should normally have responded to my FOI request promptly and to me 22 February 2021. Although I didn't receive the update from Caroline that that you mentioned, I am conscious that you have explained that you need some more time to complete this request.
Having said that, I have now been waiting since 31st December 2020. Please can you let me know by when you think you will have this information ready? Can we agree that a further 10 working days from now will be sufficient to provide an answer to my request, so 9th March 2021?
With thanks and best wishes,
Good Morning Dan,
Yes, I have also been waiting for a response from Caroline myself, but as of yesterday I discovered she has been having to take a lot of time off recently for personal reasons. Myself and my colleague have made a little progress and have been able to extract information on affordable units, but it won't be broken down further than that I'm afraid.
I will ask about the procedure for sending out requests for information if Caroline is likely to be off long term, as she is normally the only person that does it and I assume it needs to go out with some formal/legal text, but from my point of view, I will have it done by then or probably earlier.
Thank you for your reply.
If the information provided to me covers all of the questions I have raised (breakdowns by town, calendar year, Green Belt) bar the categorisations (with the exception of Affordable/Market that I think you are saying you have), then I'm happy to accept that. As I mentioned, I had assumed that HBC keeps this data already because of the annual statistics it needs to supply to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government's annual statistics so am a bit surprised that it has created so much work.
I look forward to receiving this by 10th March 2021.
Yes I am a little surprised too. There always seems to be more data that is easily obtainable on completions rather than permissions/commitments. I think it is available for completions...
End of next week should be ok, but certainly by the date you have given.
That sounds good, thank you.
With best wishes,
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