Dear Maidstone Borough Council,

On 24th July 2019, MBC received a document from SIGMA PROPERTY SERVICES in regards to the to the Marden Neighbourhood Plan Reg. 16 Consultation. In this document, it says:

"Rydon Homes Ltd have held land interests in the village for a number of years ... [they] currently hold an interest in Land east of Albion Road, Marden and this has been promoted in the Borough Call For Sites exercise. "

Per the EIR, please send me all pertinent information about this proposed site that you have received within the past 12 months, including maps, documents and in addition please provide me with all copies of correspondence between the promoter(s) and yourselves.

My understanding is that Maidstone Borough Council were planning to release information on each site that was submitted in the Call For Sites scheme by 10th September 2019, however this is overdue. Be ware that I am not looking for a simple summary of sites but more detailed information; if the Council is minded to reject this EIR request citing future release, i.e the information I am looking for will be released in future, I would point out that this is an invalid statement.

Yours faithfully,

David Windham

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 17/09/19
 
 
Dear David Windham
 
ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REQUEST
 
Ref: EIR/602
 
Thank you for your request for environmental information. We will have a
response ready for you within 20 working days of the date you made your
request.
 
After considering your request, we may decide to refuse to supply the
information under a number of exemptions that exist in legislation. For
details of these exemptions, please visit the Information Commissioner’s
website:
[1]https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/gui...
 
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.
 
Yours sincerely
 
FOI Team
Policy and Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ
t 01622 602640 w [2]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 

show quoted sections

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 14/10/2019

Ref: EIR/602

Dear David Windham

 

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS REQUEST

 

You wrote to us requesting information on Land east of Albion Road,
Marden.

 

All sites submitted in the Call for Sites scheme will be made publicly
available once they have been catalogued, redacted where appropriate, and
presented in a consistent format. We will be publishing all the
information we hold on the Call for Sites scheme on our website on 4^th
November 2019. While Legal Services previously advised that it was the
Council’s aim to publish this information in September 2019, they
explained that this was subject to change.

 

Under Regulation 12(4)(d) of the Environmental Information Regulations, we
are not required to provide information that relates to material that is
still being completed, unfinished documents including drafts, or
incomplete data. We consider that all Call for Sites submissions,
including any for Land east of Albion Road, Marden, are incomplete
documents because they are not yet in a position to be made publicly
available.

 

In considering the public interest test, we consider that the public
interest is greater to withhold the information than to disclose it. While
it is recognised that there is a public interest in transparency, this
must be balanced against the Council having the necessary safe space in
which to think and develop work in private without outside interference.
In this case it is the appraisal of the Call for Sites submissions.

 

Additionally, there is more public interest in withholding the information
until we are ready to publish it in full, for consideration of all
residents in the Borough. To respond to ward/site specific requests would
require unreasonable diversion and allocation of resources to those
particular sites rather than publishing the sites collectively. This would
mean that we would have to prepare information for publication in a
piecemeal way rather than all at once. Therefore, we believe that there is
greater public interest for all residents of the Borough to withhold this
information until it is complete and ready to be published in full.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ

t []01622 602640 w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

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We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

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Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

I am not satisfied with this response. Your reply has tried to angle my FoI request to be in relation to the Call for Sites (CfS) exercise - but it is not.

To clarify, for the avoidance of doubt, my request is for information on the "other land" that is owned by Rydon Homes in and around Marden, Kent. It is obvious from the wording of the statement by Rydon Homes, in their Local Plan response, that this "other land" has NOT been submitted under the Call for Sites exercise.

Therefore I consider your reason for rejection under Section 12(4)(d) to be invalid and politely request you to re-assess. If you disagree with this, please escalate this to an internal review.

Yours sincerely,

David Windham

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Ref: FOI 647

 

Date: 17/10/19

 

Dear Mr Windham

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

FOI Team

Maidstone Borough Council,

Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ

t 01622 602253 www.maidstone.gov.uk

 

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

We understand the importance of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of individuals are upheld.

We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

To view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

Dear Complaints & FOI (MBC),

Thanks, but you appear to have replied to the incorrect FoI request by accident.
This is clearly meant to be in response to my other FOI: "Maidstone Population and Migration Figures"

Link: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Will you please update your reply there, for posterity?

In the mean time I will await your internal review for this FoI (your ref: EIR/602 )

Yours sincerely,

David Windham

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

Date: 22/10/19
Ref: EIR/602
 
 
Dear David Windham
 
Thank you for your request for an internal review. I have passed this on
to Mid Kent Legal Services to review your request and the response. You
will receive a response within 20 working days.
 
If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. [1]https://ico.org.uk/
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Complaints & FOI Team
Policy & Information Team
Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ
e [2][email address] w [3]www.maidstone.gov.uk
 
 

show quoted sections

Gary Rowland,

Dear David Windham

 

Review of EIR #602

 

I have considered your request for review, dated 15 October 2019, of your
original request received 16 September 2019.

 

Your request for review stated:

 

I am not satisfied with this response. Your reply has tried to angle my
FoI request to be in relation to the Call for Sites (CfS) exercise - but
it is not.

 

To clarify, for the avoidance of doubt, my request is for information on
the "other land" that is owned by Rydon Homes in and around Marden, Kent. 
It is obvious from the wording of the statement by Rydon Homes, in their
Local Plan response, that this "other land" has NOT been submitted under
the Call for Sites exercise.

 

Therefore I consider your reason for rejection  under Section 12(4)(d) to
be invalid and politely request you to re-assess. If you disagree with
this, please escalate this to an internal review.

 

Your initial request sought the following information:

 

On 24th July 2019, MBC received a document from SIGMA PROPERTY SERVICES in
regards to the to the Marden Neighbourhood Plan Reg. 16 Consultation. In
this document, it says:

 

"Rydon Homes Ltd have held land interests in the village for a number of
years ... [they] currently hold an interest in Land east of Albion Road,
Marden and this has been promoted in the Borough Call For Sites exercise.
"

 

Per the EIR, please send me all pertinent information about this proposed
site that you have received within the past 12 months, including maps,
documents and in addition please provide me with all copies of
correspondence between the promoter(s) and yourselves.

 

My understanding is that Maidstone Borough Council were planning to
release information on each site that was submitted in the Call For Sites
scheme by 10th September 2019, however this is overdue. Be ware that I am
not looking for a simple summary of sites but more detailed information; 
if the Council is minded to reject this EIR request citing future release,
i.e the information I am looking for will be released in future, I would
point out that this is an invalid statement.

 

The Council issued the following response on 14 October 2019:

 

You wrote to us requesting information on Land east of Albion Road,
Marden.

 

All sites submitted in the Call for Sites scheme will be made publicly
available once they have been catalogued, redacted where appropriate, and
presented in a consistent format. We will be publishing all the
information we hold on the Call for Sites scheme on our website on 4th
November 2019. While Legal Services previously advised that it was the
Council’s aim to publish this information in September 2019, they
explained that this was subject to change.

 

Under Regulation 12(4)(d) of the Environmental Information Regulations, we
are not required to provide information that relates to material that is
still being completed, unfinished documents including drafts, or
incomplete data. We consider that all Call for Sites submissions,
including any for Land east of Albion Road, Marden, are incomplete
documents because they are not yet in a position to be made publicly
available.

 

In considering the public interest test, we consider that the public
interest is greater to withhold the information than to disclose it. While
it is recognised that there is a public interest in transparency, this
must be balanced against the Council having the necessary safe space in
which to think and develop work in private without outside interference.
In this case it is the appraisal of the Call for Sites submissions.

 

Additionally, there is more public interest in withholding the information
until we are ready to publish it in full, for consideration of all
residents in the Borough. To respond to ward/site specific requests would
require unreasonable diversion and allocation of resources to those
particular sites rather than publishing the sites collectively. This would
mean that we would have to prepare information for publication in a
piecemeal way rather than all at once. Therefore, we believe that there is
greater public interest for all residents of the Borough to withhold this
information until it is complete and ready to be published in full.

 

Response

 

Following my review of your request and the Council’s response, I uphold
the decision that was taken to apply exception 12(4)(d) of the
Environmental Information Regulations.

 

You state in your request for review that your request did not concern the
call for sites exercise being undertaken by the Council.  This appears to
conflict with your initial request.  In your initial request you
specifically mention that whilst Rydon Homes Ltd have held land interests
in the village for a number of years, they currently hold an interest in
land east of Albion Road (being promoted in the call for sites exercise). 
You then ask for all information received within the last 12 months,
relating to this proposed site.  You then state that your understanding is
that the Council was planning to release information on each site
submitted in the call for sites scheme by 10^th September 2019 and is now
overdue.

 

Having reviewed your request, I cannot establish how your request for
information relates to anything other than the call for sites scheme.  You
asked for information relating to one particular site, not as you suggest,
other land held by Rydon Homes Ltd.  It is for this reason that I uphold
the Council’s decision.  Whilst the Council planned to release the
information on the call for sites scheme by 10 September 2019, this is
subject to change. 

 

In order to offer assistance, I would suggest that a new request is sent
to the Council, setting out exactly what information you require and in
relation to what land specifically.  

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Kind regards

 

 

Gary Rowland

Lawyer (GCILEx) - Corporate Governance

Mid Kent Legal Services | Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough
Councils

Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10
3HT

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent
ME15 6JQ

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Civic Way, Tunbridge Wells,
TN1 1RS

Tel: (01622) 602276   Email: [1][email address]

[2]www.swale.gov.uk     
[3]www.maidstone.gov.uk       [4]www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk

 

The contents of this e-mail, together with any attachments, may be
confidential or subject to legal professional privilege.  It should not be
shared with anyone without first consulting Mid Kent Legal Services. 

If you are not the intended recipient, please do not forward this email or
the attachments to anybody.  Please notify the sender and delete all
copies of this email from your system.

 

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.swale.gov.uk/
3. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/
4. http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/

Dear Gary Rowland,

Thank you for your response. As Maidstone Borough Council have now released some information on the Land East of Albion Road in their Call for Sites disclosure, and this request is becoming protracted, I will create a new FoI request with suitable clarification. Thanks

Yours sincerely,

David Windham

Complaints & FOI (MBC), Maidstone Borough Council

1 Attachment

Date: 03/01/2020

Ref: EIR/1184

 

 

Dear David Windham

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

 

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested.

 

A copy of the information is enclosed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please
remember to quote the reference above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to request a review of our decision, please respond to
this email and I will pass it on to Mid Kent Legal Services to conduct a
review. Please ensure you outline your reasons for requesting a review.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by the Council.  The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

FOI Team

Policy and Information

Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House King Street, Maidstone, Kent

ME15 6JQ

t []01622 602640 w [1]www.maidstone.gov.uk

To access our digital services please visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/service
Sign up to receive your Council Tax bill by email http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/emailbilling

We understand the importance of ensuring that personal data, including sensitive personal data is always treated lawfully and appropriately and that the rights of individuals are upheld.

We are required to collect, use and hold personal data about individuals. Data is required for the purposes of carrying out our statutory obligations, delivering services and meeting the needs of individuals that we deal with. This includes current, past and prospective employees, service users, members of the public, Members of the Council, our business partners and other local authorities or public bodies.

To view our full statement to see how your data will be stored and processed please visit https://maidstone.gov.uk/dataprotection

This email is confidential. If you receive it by mistake, please advise the sender by email immediately.
Any unauthorised use of the message or attachments is prohibited. Unless stated otherwise, any opinions are personal and cannot be attributed to Maidstone Borough Council.
Unless a purchase order is attached this email is not a contract or an order.
It is your responsibility to carry out Virus checks before opening any attachments.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/