Dear Manchester City Council,
I am looking for a list of all the long term empty properties within the councils area. Would you be able to supply me with this under the Freedom of Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal information simply the property addresses.
They do not need to be broken down into council or private, nor residential or commercial. Thanks
Margaret Attoh (Miss)
We acknowledge receipt of your request to Manchester City Council,
Long Term Empty Properties
If your request comes under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), we will aim to
respond as promptly as we can and by no later than 20 working days.
Sometimes an extension to that timescale will apply and we will let you
know if that is the case.
If some or all of your request needs to be considered under processes
other than those provided by FOIA or EIR, different timescales may apply.
In particular, any part of your request that concerns your own personal
information will be considered in line with your rights under data
protection legislation (including the right of access) and we will aim to
provide you with a response in respect of that part of your request
without undue delay and by no later than one calendar month, unless an
extension to that timescale applies (we will let you know if that is the
The reference number for your request is FOI/4728.
Please note that Manchester City Council is currently handling a large
volume of business critical work aimed towards the protection and
safeguarding of at risk groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Accordingly, Freedom of Information/subject access requests made to
Manchester City Council during the COVID-19 outbreak may have a longer
response period than that stated above. The response that you receive may
also not be complete in whole or in part. This is because:
* Responding to your request may require business area resource which is
currently directed towards direct aid of members of the public during
the COVID-19 outbreak. Directing resources towards responding to your
request could result in vital care of service not being delivered, and
may expose individuals to COVID-19;?
* Under central government guidance to help prevent the spread of
COVID-19, all Manchester City Council staff who are able to are
working from home until further notice. As such they may not be able
to get hold of certain information which cannot be accessed remotely,
and accessing it would potentially expose the individual to COVID-19.
Should you have any further inquiries concerning your request, please
reply to this email leaving the subject line unchanged.
Manchester City Council
Your personal data is very important to us. Please refer to our privacy
notice at www.manchester.gov.uk/privacy for further information.
Thank you for your request for information, which was received by
Manchester City Council on 29 April 2021 and has been considered under the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the 2000 Act”)
I have considered your request for information for a list of all
long-term empty property within the council area with reference to the
Section 31(1)(a) allows me to withhold the disclosure of information that
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of
This exemption is qualified which means it is subject to the public
interest test. In deciding whether to release information under FoIA, I
must consider whether the requested information is suitable for
publication to the world at large.
In applying the public interest test I have concluded that, on balance, it
is more beneficial to withhold the information requested than to release
it. In reaching this decision I have considered the following factors in
favour of disclosure:
* The public interest in awareness of the level of vacant property so
that appropriate action can be taken to bring such property back into
I have also considered the following factors, which must be balanced
* The risk that publication would prejudice the prevention of crime by
releasing information about empty properties to the world at large,
leading to the likely targeting of these properties by those engaged
in illegal drug use, gang activity, arson, vandalism, theft and
* The risk that publication of this information to the world at large
would lead to increased anxiety and fear of crime amongst residents of
adjacent properties as a result of the likely targeting
of empty properties by those engaged in crime and anti social
* The risk that publication of this information could undermine efforts
by the Council, other housing providers and owners to
bring empty properties back into use in order to improve local
communities and reduce crime and vandalism in areas where property
have been left empty and in a poor state of repair.
While there are public interest arguments in favour of releasing the
information, I consider that these arguments are outweighed by the harm
that might arise from disclosure. This position is supported by the
decision of the Upper Tribunal in London Borough of Camden v The
Information Commissioner & YV .
Please note if you are not satisfied with this response, you may ask for
an internal review. If you wish an internal review to be undertaken you
should contact the Democratic Services Legal Team, whose address is, PO
Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, email:
[MCC request email] in the first instance. A copy of
the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be downloaded
If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let me
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review process,
you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Tel: 01625 545700
Fax: 01625 524510
If you have any queries, please contact me. Please remember to quote the
reference number above in any future communications.
Council Tax Operations Manager
Revenues and Benefits Unit
Manchester City Council
PO Box 3
Telephone: 0161 953 8278
Email: [email address]
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