Meridian Water and Barratt Homes

The request was successful.

Dear Enfield Council,

You have posted an announcement citing that a potential development agreement at Meridian Water with Barratt has been terminated due to "proposed terms being unacceptable".
https://www.meridianwater.co.uk/news/201...

Please elaborate on what terms were considered unacceptable by the Council.
To make this task easier, please provide copies of correspondence where the proposed terms were discussed or highlighted as being unacceptable and the correspondence from Barratt which notified the Council of their withdrawal from Meridian Water.

Yours faithfully,

B Jafar

Paul Gardner, Enfield Council

5 Attachments

Classification: OFFICIAL - SENSITIVE

Dear Mr Jafar

 

Thank you for your email dated 12 July 2018 where you requested
information about the proposed terms with Barratt Developments.

 

Request

o To elaborate on what terms were considered unacceptable by the Council
– in reference to the news release that a potential development
agreement at Meridian Water with Barratt Developments has been
terminated due to the proposed terms being unacceptable.
o To provide copies of correspondence where the proposed terms were
discussed or highlighted as being unacceptable; and
o To provide the correspondence from Barratt which notified the Council
of their withdrawal from Meridian Water?

 

Response

I can confirm that the Council holds correspondence where terms were
discussed and highlighted as being unacceptable. The Council also holds
the letter from Barratt which notified the Council of their withdrawal
from the Meridian Water project. We have reviewed the contents of each of
these letters in turn, and are disclosing redacted versions of this
correspondence.

 

We have redacted sections of the correspondence because they are exempt
under sections 42(1) and 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act. Under
Section 42(1) information is exempt if it contains legally privileged
information. Advice to the Council from our lawyers is included in the
withheld information of the Freedom of Information Act as it would likely
prejudice the commercial interest the Council. Under Section 43
information is exempt from disclosure if releasing it would, or would be
likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the
public authority holding it). In our view, disclosure of the proposed
terms would be likely to prejudice the Council’s negotiating position with
future development partners as it would reveal the Council’s negotiation
strategy and in our view impact on the view that other developers may have
in connection with confidential negotiations with the Council. By making
public information about how the Council undertook a confidential
negotiation with a previous developer, this could not only potentially
give future developers unfair advantage by providing an insight of the
Council’s negotiating approach but could also undermine trust and
confidence in the Council’s ability to negotiate in a confidential and
without prejudice manner, thereby discouraging developers from embarking
on frank and open discussions with the Council or potential even wanting
to enter into partnerships with the Council. 

 

Section 43 is a qualified exemption therefore we have to consider the
public interest in whether to disclose. We acknowledge that the public
interest is best served in promoting transparency by public authorities
for decisions taken by them so that individuals can understand the basis
of those decisions and, in some cases, assisting individuals in
challenging them. However, in this instance, we consider that there is a
greater public interest in protecting the confidentiality of the
information, which could, if disclosed, potentially undermine the
Council’s ability to negotiate in future discussions with developers and
in consequence result in a less favourable end result for residents of the
borough. Therefore, we have decided that in this case the public interest
lies in favour of withholding the requested information.

Correspondence attached:

o A letter from the Chief Executive of Enfield Council, Ian Davis, to
Regional Managing Director of Barratt Developments PLC, Gary Ennis,
sent on 20^th September 2017. Attached to this letter was the
Council’s final commercial position. A redacted version of the letter
is being disclosed, however, the appendix is deemed to be exempt from
being released under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information act
and is therefore being withheld for the reasons set out above.
o A letter sent to Gary Ennis from Ian Davis on 29^th September 2017.  A
redacted version of the letter is being disclosed.
o A letter sent to Gary Ennis from Ian Davis on 12^th October 2017. A
redacted version of the letter is being disclosed.
o A letter sent from Ian Davis to David Thomas, Chief Executive of
Barratt Development plc. on 23^rd October 2017. A redacted version of
the letter is being disclosed.
o A letter was sent from Gary Ennis to Ian Davis on 24^th October 2017,
stating Barratt’s intention to withdraw from negotiations. A redacted
version of the letter is being disclosed.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to:

 

Complaints and Access to Information Team

Email – [1][Enfield Council request email]

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, 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, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF

 

Kind Regards

 

Paul Gardner

 

Paul Gardner

Senior Regeneration Manager

Neighbourhood Regeneration

Enfield Council

0208 379 4754

[2][email address]

[3]www.enfield.gov.uk

 

 

Classification: OFFICIAL - SENSITIVE

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