Housing units given planning permission by the council

Owen Sheppard made this Freedom of Information request to Lewisham 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 successful.

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

Please tell me the gross number of residential units for which the council has approved planning permission, over the last three financial years up to 2017-2018.

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units for which the council has given planning permission for the last three financial years up to 2017-2018 which must be provided at the council’s definition of affordable rent once built?

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units for which the council has given planning permission to each year, for the last three financial years up to 2017-2018, and which must be provided at the council’s definition of social rent once built?

When answering the three above questions, please could you tell me how many of these units have been built and are habitable. Could you also note how many of these units per year were included in planning applications that were submitted by the council.

Please could you provide me with a statement that clarifies the council’s definitions of “affordable rent” and “social rent”.

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units in the borough that have been demolished each year, for the last three financial years up to 2017-2018.

Yours faithfully,

Owen Sheppard

Foi, Customer, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Mr Sheppard,

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Reference No: 423233

Thank you for your recent request for information from the London Borough of Lewisham. Your request is being handled under either the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the application of any exemptions/exceptions. Where consideration is being given to exemptions/exceptions, the 20 working day timescale may be extended to a period considered reasonable depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases you will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information requested where the request exceeds the statutory limit or where disbursements exceed £10. In such cases you will be informed in writing and your request will be suspended until we receive payment from you or your request is modified and/or reduced.

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred. 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). Please note that the directorate team may contact you for further information where we believe that the request is not significantly clear for us to respond fully.

Kind Regards,

Corporate Complaints and Casework Team

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Rahman, Davina, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Owen

 

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for your request for information held by London Borough of
Lewisham. I have included below a copy of your request, followed by the
Council’s response.

 

Please tell me the gross number of residential units for which the council
has approved planning permission, over the last three financial years up
to 2017-2018.

 

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units for which
the council has given planning permission for the last three financial
years up to 2017-2018 which must be provided at the council’s definition
of affordable rent once built? 

 

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units for which
the council has given planning permission to each year, for the last three
financial years up to 2017-2018, and which must be provided at the
council’s definition of social rent once built?

 

When answering the three above questions, please could you tell me how
many of these units have been built and are habitable. Could you also note
how many of these units per year were included in planning applications
that were submitted by the council.

 

Please could you provide me with a statement that clarifies the council’s
definitions of “affordable rent” and “social rent”.

 

Data for years 2015-2017 can be found in published Annual Monitoring
Reports ( AMRs):

 

The 2015/16 AMR can be found here:

 

[1]https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/p...

 

 

The 2016/17 AMR can be found here:

[2]https://www.lewisham.gov.uk/myservices/p...

 

For both AMRs:

- paragraphs 3.1.1 provide the gross number of units permitted and the
number of units that were permitted to be lost.

- section 3.1.5 provides the number of affordable units provided and the %
breakdown per tenure: affordable rent, social rent and intermediate and
whether it is on privately owned, HA or Council sites.

- Unsure how many of the units permitted during 2015-2017 have been built
and habitable.  Completions of affordable units and by type are provided
in section 2.1.5 and 2.1.8 but these are not compared against actual
permissions.

 

The glossary in Appendix 5 of the Lewisham Development Management Local
Plan provides a definition of Affordable housing as:

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to
eligible households whose needs are not met by market housing. Eligibility
is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.
Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable
price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for
alternative affordable housing provision.

- Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private
registered providers, (as defined in Section 80 of the Housing and
Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined
through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons
and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed
with the local authority or with the Homes and Community Agency.

- Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private
registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for
social rented housing.

- Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no
more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where
applicable).

- Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above
social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the
Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity
(shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and
intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

- Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such
as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing
for planning purposes.

 

We therefore apply Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
‘Information reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means’, to
your request.

 

Section 21 states:

(1) Information which is readily available to the applicant otherwise than
under section 1 is exempt information.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)-

(a) information may be reasonably accessible to the applicant even though
it is accessible only on payment, and

(b) information is to be taken to be reasonably accessible to the
applicant if it is information which the public authority or any other
person is obliged by or under any enactment to communicate (otherwise than
by making the information available for inspection) to members of the
public on request, whether free of charge or upon payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), information which is held by a
public authority and does not fall within subsection (2)(b) is not to be
regarded as reasonably accessible to the applicant merely because the
information is available from the public authority itself on request,
unless the information is made available in accordance with the
authority’s publication scheme and any payment required is specified in,
or determined in accordance with, the scheme.

 

This acts as an exemption notice. Subsection 1 means that the Council is
relieved of the duty to communicate the requested information to an
applicant if there is an existing method by which the information can be
obtained, outside of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
This is an absolute exemption and therefore does not require the public
interests balancing test to be applied.

 

 

Please could you tell me the gross number of residential units in the
borough that have been demolished each year, for the last three financial
years up to 2017-2018.

 

The data for 2017/18 AMR has not yet been collected.  It will be publicly
available in early December 2018, as an item for the December Mayor and
Cabinet meeting on the Council’s website.

           

Therefore, we apply Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
‘Information intended for future publication’, to your request.

 

Section 22 states:

(1) Information is exempt information if—

(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its
publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date
(whether determined or not),

(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at
the time when the request for information was made, and

(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should
be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

(2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that,
compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any
information (whether or not already recorded) which falls within
subsection (1).

 

This acts as an exemption notice. We have applied this exemption because
the requested

information is due to be published at a later date. We confirm that the
information is held. An updated version of the document is yet to be
completed. We have considered the balancing of the public interests and
confirm that this information cannot be released until its future
publication due to the current information needing updating to ensure its
accuracy.

 

We hope you will find this information helpful.

 

You are free to use the information provided for your own purposes,
including any non-commercial research you are doing and for the purposes
of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication,
requires the permission of the copyright holder. You may apply for
permission to re-use this information by submitting a request to
[email address]

 

You have a right of appeal against this response which you can exercise by
writing to: Information Governance – 1st floor Town Hall Chambers,
Catford, London. SE6 4RU. Or at: [email address]

 

This must be requested within 40 working days of the date of this
response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied after receiving this decision, you then also
have a further right of appeal, which you can make in writing, stating
your reasons to the regulating body, the Information Commissioner's
Office. Contact details are outlined below:

 

https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113.

 

Address: Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Davina

Corporate Complaints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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