Langtree Artisan

Richard Killip made this Freedom of Information request to Homes England

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 Sirs

I require full and unredacted copies of any and all legally binding agreements between the Homes & Communities Agency and Langtree Artisan with regard to the former Odeon cinema in Bradford city centre, irrespective of whether those agreements were made by the Homes & Communities Agency or by a predecessor and transferred thereto, and further irrespective of whether any or all obligations made under said agreement(s) have been previously discharged.

Yours faithfully

Richard Killip

Catherine West,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Killip

 

Thank you for your recent email, which requested information in pursuance
of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find attached our acknowledgement of receipt of your Request.

 

Kind regards

 

Catherine West

Information Access Officer

Homes and Communities Agency

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Catherine West,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Killip

 

Thank you for your recent email, which requested information in pursuance
of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find attached our update on the progress of your Request.

 

I hope that the letter is self explanatory, but should you require any
further information or clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

Catherine West

Information Access Officer

Homes and Communities Agency

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Catherine West,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Killip

 

Thank you for your recent email, which requested information in pursuance
of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find attached our update on the progress of your Request. As you
will see, we are yet to reach a final position on the disclosure of the
information you are seeking, and require a little additional time to
conclude our public interest considerations. I am, however, hopeful that
we will be able to get a full response to you very shortly.

 

I hope that the letter is self explanatory, but should you require any
further information or clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

Catherine West

Information Access Officer

Homes and Communities Agency

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Catherine West,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Killip

 

Thank you for your recent email, which requested information in pursuance
of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find attached our response to your Request.

 

Thank you for your patience whilst we have investigated this matter. I
hope that you find this information helpful, but if you have any further
queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

Catherine West

Information Access Officer

Homes and Communities Agency

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Dear Catherine

Thank you for your response.

I quite understand why the Agency has elected to redact commercially sensitive information included in the document including the premium paid and beck/ground costs - even though the latter must have been a material consideration for Yorkshire Foward, the building's previous owner, when deciding what approach to take to the building's future.

I am afraid, however, that I cannot agree that it is reasonable to redact the annexed the annexed  building appraisal (a two page document redacted at page 106 of the pdf). The condition of the building has been Yorkshire Forward's sole justification for taking the course of action it has in proceeding with their highly unpopular decision to demolish, rather than restore, this fine, historically important and highly attractive piece of Britain's cinenatic history.

On this basis, the balance clearly falls in favour of public disclosure of this particular document.

I would therefore be grateful if you would consider this email to be a request for an internal review of this request with a view to obtaining the the annexed the annexed  building appraisal (a two page document redacted at page 106 of the pdf)

Yours sincerely

Richard Killip

Catherine West,

I am out of the office until Monday 6 February. I will not have access to emails during this time.

Your email will not be automatically forwarded. Please forward any new requests for information to [Homes and Communities Agency request email].

I will respond to any emails as soon as possible upon my return.

Catherine Talbot,

Dear Mr Killip

 

Thank you for your email dated 4 February to my colleague Catherine West
requesting an Internal Review of your Request for Information (RFI
5972-11).

 

I am writing to advise you that I am responsible for co-ordinating your
review and shall contact you in due course with our response.  We hope to
respond to you within 20 working days of receipt of your request for
review and I shall advise you should our response be delayed, together
with the reason for this.

 

Please contact myself or Catherine should you have any questions or
queries in relation to the above.

 

Regards

 

Catherine Talbot

Solicitor

Homes and Communities Agency

 

 

 

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Catherine Talbot,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Killip

 

Please see attached letter in response to your internal review request

 

Regards

 

Catherine Talbot

Solicitor

Homes and Communities Agency

 

 

 

HELP SAVE NATURAL RESOURCES. THINK BEFORE PRINTING THIS EMAIL

Homes and Communities Agency; Central Business Exchange II, 404 - 412
Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2EA (reg.address for legal
documents) 0300 1234 500

[Homes and Communities Agency request email] VAT no: 941 6200 50

show quoted sections

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

I have referred the matter of the authority's failure to disclose the financial arrangements of the agreement to the Information Commissioner's Office with the following narrative

//
I requested a copy of the development agreement made between Yorkshire Forward and Langtree Artisan Limited with regard to the former Bradford Odeon cinema. This site has now been inherited by the Homes & Communities Agency following Yorkshire Forward's abolition. This is a site of intense public interest which the majority of people want to see restored but Yorkshire Forward have decided to demolish. The Homes & Communities Agency have elected to follow through with Yorkshire Forward's plans.

The Agency provided the agreement but made certain redactions regarding the financial arrangements on the basis of commercial confidentiality. I do not think that the HCA were correct to apply these exemptions.

One of the parties to the agreement, Artisan H Limited, entered administration after taking £1.8m of public money to build homes in Sheffield which they did not complete. Incidentally this was via the Homes & Communities Agency, the organisation that has inherited this building from Yorkshire Forward. This casts serious doubt over Langtree-Artisan's ability to perform on this development.

The agreement entered into by Yorkshire Forward and inherited by HCA has the potential to make a material difference to the public purse.

This tips the balance in favour of disclosure of this information.

In resolution of this complaint I would seek disclosure of the premium paid (or payable) and the mechanism for calculation of any overage payments.

My FOI request can be found at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/la...
//

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

Acknowledgement received from the ICO:

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PROTECT

19th July 2012

Case Reference Number FER0456167

Dear Mr Killip,

Your information request to Homes & Communities Agency.

Thank you for your correspondence which we received on the 12th July 2012, in which you make a complaint about Homes & Communities Agencies decision not to release the information you requested.

Your case has been allocated to one of our Complaints Resolution teams who will contact you as soon as possible to explain how your complaint will be progressed.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is an independent public body set up to promote public access to official information. We will rule on eligible complaints from people who are unhappy with the way public authorities have handled requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

If you need to contact us about any aspect of your complaint please contact our Freedom of Information Helpline on 0303 123 1113, being sure to quote the reference number at the top of this letter.

Yours sincerely

Sent on behalf of
Andrew White
Group Manager
Complaints Resolution
Information Commissioner’s Office
//

Richard Killip left an annotation ()

Correspondence from ICO:

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PROTECT

Case reference number: FER0456167

17 October 2012

Dear Mr Killip

Information request to Homes & Communities Agency (‘HCA’)

Further to our previous correspondence regarding your complaint against HCA, I am writing to inform you that your case has now been allocated to me to investigate.

In order to reach a decision as to whether the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) or the Environment Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) have been correctly applied, I will need to carry out a thorough investigation. This may take me some time as I will need to ensure that I am aware of all the relevant facts and that I carefully consider the application of the law to those facts.

Where possible the Information Commissioner prefers complaints to be resolved by informal means. If this does not prove to be possible, he will usually issue a Decision Notice to you and the public authority once an investigation has been completed. This will inform you of his decision and the reasons for it.

Where the Commissioner decides that a request has not been handled properly he may specify what steps he believes are necessary to remedy the situation. This can include requiring a public authority to release information which has previously been withheld. A copy of the Decision Notice will be placed on our website (with your details omitted). If you disagree with the decision that has been reached you have a legal right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights).

Your request

On 10 December 2011, you wrote to HCA and requested information in the following terms:

“I require full and unredacted copies of any and all legally binding agreements between the Homes & Communities Agency and Langtree Artisan with regard to the former Odeon cinema in Bradford city centre, irrespective of whether those agreements were made by Homes & Communities Agency or by a predecessor and transferred thereto, and further irrespective or whether any or all obligations made under said agreement(s) have been previously discharged”

HCA responded on 30 January 2012 and provided a copy of an agreement, but withheld sections of the agreement under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the FOIA’). HCA also stated that, if the information was considered to be environmental information, as defined by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (‘the EIR’), it considered the withheld information to be exempt under regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIR.

On 4 February 2012, you requested an internal review of HCA’s refusal to disclose the information requested. You accepted that some of the information redacted but you stated that you did considered the annexed building appraisal (redacted at page 106).

HCA provided the outcome of its internal review on 1 March 2012. It disclosed the highway payment but maintained that the remaining withheld information was exempt under section 43(2) of the FOIA and regulation 12(5)(e) of the EIR.

Scope of Investigation

You wrote to the Information Commissioner’s Office on 13 July 2012 to express your dissatisfaction with HCA’s refusal to release the information you had requested. In your complaint to the Commissioner you stated that “In resolution of this complaint I would seek disclosure of the premium paid (or payable) and the mechanism for calculation of any overage payments”. When we spoke earlier today, you confirmed that the premium paid is referred to on page 12 of the agreement. You also advised that you did not know if there is any information within the agreement about the mechanism for calculation of overage payments, but if this is referred to anywhere in the redacted information, you would like sight of this. You also confirmed that you were no longer interested in the other redacted information.

In light of the above, the scope of my investigation will be to determine whether HCA should disclose any information contained within the withheld information relating to the premium paid (or payable) and the mechanism for calculation of any overage payments.

I will also be investigating whether the correct access regime has been applied by HCA to your request. As you may be aware, requests for environmental information are covered under the EIR and it falls to the Commissioner to determine whether a request has been handled under the correct access regime.

At this stage, in view of the nature of the information requested, I consider that the request falls within the scope of the EIR as opposed to the FOIA. This is because the agreement appears to relate a development (the former Odeon cinema). The development of a site is a measure which is likely to affect the elements of the environment, namely land and landscape. I therefore consider that the information requested would therefore qualify as information on (concerning, relating to, or about) this measure and is therefore likely to fall within the definition of environmental information provided by 2(1)(c) of the EIR.

Where possible, a decision as to whether the requested information is environmental should be based on what information is actually held by a public authority. I have therefore requested a copy of the withheld information in order to make a decision as to whether your request should have been considered under the EIR as opposed to the FOIA. This is a technical point and will not affect the way in which I will investigate your complaint

Please contact me as soon as possible if there are matters other than these that you believe should be addressed. This will help avoid any unnecessary delay in investigating your complaint. If I do not hear from you, my investigation will focus only upon the matters identified above.

As I have indicated, the process of reaching a decision may take some time but I will update you on the progress of the investigation as appropriate. However, if you have any queries at any time you are welcome to write to me at the address below, email me or telephone me on XXX XXXX XXXX.

Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales)
2nd Floor
Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH

When responding to an email from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which has been sent via this ‘casework’ account, please ensure that you do so by clicking on the ‘reply’ button. This is to keep the ‘subject’ line of the email in its specific form, which in turn avoids delays in allocating the response to the correct case file. The ICO’s emails are specifically drafted in a format that speeds up this process and corruption of the format will cause delays.

Should you wish to send an email directly to the ‘casework’ account casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk , please quote your case reference in the subject line of the email in the following format - [Ref. FER0456167]. Please note that there should be a single space between “Ref.” and the case reference number and that the square brackets are required.

It may not be possible for me to respond to enquiries immediately due to other work commitments but I will endeavour to provide a response as promptly as possible.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Edwards
Senior Case Officer
//

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