Non-individual owned private empty properties

John Radcliffe made this Freedom of Information request to Greenwich 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 partially successful.

Dear Greenwich Borough Council,
Please can you provide me with the following information under the
Freedom Of Information Act 2000:-

(a) addresses of empty residential properties that are within the
borough

(b) the names of the owners of those properties referred to in

If the council can only release information on "non-individually
owned property" I would like that.

If the council will not release this information, I would like the
names of all "non individuals" (business, charities, trusts etc),
but excluding housing associations and the council, that own long
term empty property in the borough, without addresses.

Yours faithfully,

John Radcliffe

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear requestor

 

Thank you for your email in connection with an FOI enquiry.

 

If you are making a new request, your request will be processed and you
will receive an acknowledgment with a reference number for future
correspondence within 24hrs.

 

If you are chasing a late response, we will investigate the delay and get
back to you as soon as possible with an update.

 

For all other enquiries, we will deal with the matter and update you as
appropriate.

 

Yours sincerely

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Royal Borough of Greenwich - LGC Council Of The Year 2013

foi, Greenwich Borough Council

Dear Mr Radcliffe

Freedom of Information request:  RFI/08908

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 23/08/2015.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any queries about this request, please contact me, quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely,

Eileen Edwards
Head of Policy, Partnerships and Performance
Chief Executive’s Department
Royal Borough of Greenwich

LGC Council of the Year 2013

' 020 8921 5132 
*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ
8 [1]www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk  

 

 

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foi, Greenwich Borough Council

 

 

Dear Mr Radcliffe

Freedom of Information request:  RFI/08908

I refer to your request for information in which you ask:

 

Please can you provide me with the following information under the Freedom
Of Information Act 2000:-

 

(a) addresses of empty residential properties that are within the borough

 

(b) the names of the owners of those properties referred to in

 

If the council can only release information on "non-individually owned
property" I would like that.

 

Our response is as follows:-

 

This is information is being withheld and is exempt under section 31(1)(a)
of the Act.  Information is exempt information if its disclosure would, or
would be likely to prejudice “The prevention or detection of crime”.

 

We consider that by putting this information into the public domain it is
likely to increase the level of break-ins and metal thefts from empty
properties in the Borough. This could also lead to an increase in criminal
activity as well as endangering the safety of council tenants and
residents who reside in neighbouring properties.

 

We have also withheld this information in accordance with section 38
(1)(a)(b) of the Act.

 

This information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to “Endanger the safety of any individual”.

 

There have been a number of incidents that have occurred as a result of
break-ins to our vacant stock for metal thefts, which has caused over
£70,000 worth of damage.  In a recent case, the damage caused to one of
our council properties resulted in flooding which resulted in a collapsed
ceiling of the tenant’s flat below.

 

We consider that by placing a list of addresses of  residential properties
and non-residential properties into the public domain there is a
likelihood that the safety of our tenants and residents could be
endangered.  This is demonstrated by the case we have referred to in the
paragraph above.

 

Both section 31(1)(a) and 38(1)(b) are qualified exemptions and we have
considered the public interest test in accordance with section 2(1)(b) of
the Act.

 

“In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the
public authority holds the information”.

 

We have considered all the factors in favour of disclosure and they are:-

 

• Placing the requested information would assist the general public
interest in openness, an important aspect of which includes increasing
public debate concerning empty properties.

 

• There is a public interest in public authorities being accountable and
transparent.  It would assist the general public in understanding how the
Council uses its resources in relation to its Housing Stock.

 

The factors that weigh in favour of maintaining the exemption are:-

 

• That disclosure of this information into the public domain could
increase the likelihood of break-ins to the Council’s housing stock and
other properties within the Borough.

 

If this happened, it is likely that the residents in close proximity could
be under threat because a crime had been committed close to them.  We
expect residents to feel secure in their homes.

 

The information you have requested in relation to residential properties
is also being withheld in accordance with section 40 of the Act, the
information constitutes third party data.  Section 40(2) provides that
personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the
conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied.  Under the Act,
disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle
contained in the Data Protection Act, where it would be unfair to the
owners of the residential properties  to disclose this information without
their consent.  Also there is a reasonable expectation from the borough’s
residential owners that their contact details would be kept
confidential.    

 

If you have any queries about this correspondence, please contact me,
quoting the reference number above.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you can 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
request.  If you wish to do this, please contact us, setting out why you
are dissatisfied.

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

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Eileen Edwards
Head of Policy, Partnerships and Performance
Chief Executive’s Department
Royal Borough of Greenwich

LGC Council of the Year 2013

' 020 8921 5132 
*   The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ
8 [1]www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk  

 

 

 

 

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