Property and Assets and Buildings

Viran Patel made this Freedom of Information request to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as part of a batch sent to 500 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

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Dear Organisation,

I would like to know a full list of Vacant Properties held by your organisation and any of its subsidiaries.

If possible their market value for sale or to let, whether they would be considered for a community asset transfer, if not then whether they are for sale or to let. In a clear and easy to read format. It would be supportive if the property is for sale or to let that it is listed on here too: https://e-pims.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/gove... and that you inform us of this intention or such listing in the request.

In the previous case in Voyias v IC and LB Camden (EA/201v1/0007), the requesters asked for substantially similar information, and the judge favoured disclosure. I appreciate the circumstances here are quite different, but the same principles should apply.

I understand there is a risk that your empty properties would be targeted by squatters should this the list of empty properties be public, but this is a very slim risk. The prejudice to law enforcement should be real, likely and substantial, as per Hogan v the ICO and Oxford City Council. I can assure you that my request is not sent in order to cause trouble for the authority, it is predominantly for my own research, with publication as part of campaigning materials. I am concerned at the sale of public assets, not a not an advocate for their illegal occupation. I would also say that I cannot imagine the disclosure of this list of properties to significantly affect a squatting problem that pre-existed my interest in the organisation. Overall the prejudice to law enforcement is very slim, and not severe. Since 12 months will be the time that this information will be released onto this site, unless others request this information separately. The requester is not liable for any issues that may arise in between or after.

It is in the public interest and transparency that this information is made publicly available under the public sector duty under the equality act allowing people to know of this information and make use of it under the Community Asset Transfer scheme and under the Human Rights Act Article 11 enabling the community to gather and make decisions on the allocation of such assets.

Yours faithfully,

Viran Patel

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Dear Mr Patel

Thank you for your email dated 06 August 2018 and your request for
information therein.

You have requested from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
information in relation to a full list of vacant properties held by
Council and any of its subsidiaries

I would be grateful if you could clarify if your request is related to
social housing properties only for, as a district council in Northern
Ireland, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council does not have
responsibility for the provision of social housing.  The responsible
public authority in Northern Ireland is the Department for Communities
Northern Ireland Housing Executive:
[1]http://www.nihe.gov.uk/index/rights/foi.....

Until we receive clarification, Council will consider this information
request to be suspended.  The 20 working days to respond to the
information request will only re-commence when we receive clarification.
For further information in relation to the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 I would refer you to
the Information Commissioner's Office website, www.ico.org.uk

If you wish to discuss the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards

Sally Andrée
Information Officer
Oifig Dhún Pádraig
Downpatrick Office
Downshire Civic Centre
Downshire Estate, Ardglass Road
Downpatrick, BT30 6GQ
Council: 0300 013 2233
Planning: 0300 200 7830
Ext: 2107

www.newrymournedown.org
www.facebook.com/nmdcouncil
www.twitter.com/nmdcouncil

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From: Viran Patel <[FOI #507038 email]>
To: "FOI requests at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council"
<[Newry, Mourne and Down District Council request email]>
Date: 06/08/2018 13:10
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Property and Assets and
Buildings

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Organisation,

I would like to know a full list of Vacant Properties held by your
organisation and any of its subsidiaries.

If possible their market value for sale or to let, whether they would be
considered for a community asset transfer, if not then whether they are
for sale or to let. In a clear and easy to read format. It would be
supportive if the property is for sale or to let that it is listed on here
too:
[2]https://e-pims.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/gove...
that you inform us of this intention or such listing in the request.

In the previous case in Voyias v IC and LB Camden (EA/201v1/0007), the
requesters asked for substantially similar information, and the judge
favoured disclosure. I appreciate the circumstances here are quite
different, but the same principles should apply.  

I understand there is a risk that your empty properties would be targeted
by squatters should this the list of empty properties be public, but this
is a very slim risk. The prejudice to law enforcement should be real,
likely and substantial, as per Hogan v the ICO and Oxford City Council. I
can assure you that my request is not sent in order to cause trouble for
the authority, it is predominantly for my own research, with publication
as part of campaigning materials. I am concerned at the sale of public
assets, not a not an advocate for their illegal occupation. I would also
say that I cannot imagine the disclosure of this list of properties to
significantly affect a squatting problem that pre-existed my interest in
the organisation. Overall the prejudice to law enforcement is very slim,
and not severe.  Since 12 months will be the time that this information
will be released onto this site, unless others request this information
separately. The requester is not liable for any issues that may arise in
between or after.

It is in the public interest and transparency that this information is
made publicly available under the public sector duty under the equality
act allowing people to know of this information and make use of it under
the Community Asset Transfer scheme and under the Human Rights Act Article
11 enabling the community to gather and make decisions on the allocation
of such assets.

Yours faithfully,

Viran Patel

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