Site Allocations and Delivery Development Plan Document "Call for Sites"

J A Giggins made this Freedom of Information request to West Berkshire 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 refused by West Berkshire Council.

Dear West Berkshire Council,

I understand from your web site that there was a "call for sites" exercise conducted earlier this year.

http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?a...

I also note the caveat on your web site:

" The identification of sites does not imply that the Council considers that the site is suitable for development, either now or in the future. It cannot be taken as representing either an intention to allocate these sites, or as a material consideration in the determination of a planning application. Potential sites that have been identified will be further tested through the plan-making process for Development Plan Documents, including Sustainability Appraisal/ Strategic Environmental Assessment, several stages of public participation and independent examination."

However it would still be useful to know which sites have been put forward to date and by whom.

1 I am therefore requesting a full list of sites put forward, ideally split by area/parish in a similar format to the SHLAA. I do not require the officer opinion on the suitability of the sites as I understand this is still a work in progress.

2 I would also like to know whether any sites have been submitted and withdrawn, together with any correspondence that might explain the withdrawal

3 Finally, I would be grateful if you could provide an up to date timetable for the site allocation process, particularly the dates for public participation.

Should you require any clarification please do not hesitate to contact me via the whatdotheyknow.co website/address. If the request is likely to exceed the cost/time limits of the FOI act then I would appreciate the opportunity to refine it.

Many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

J A Giggins

Sue Broughton, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2013/843

Dear Mrs Giggins,

Request for information: Call for sites

Thank you for your request, we will seek to respond within twenty
working days (by 21st October).

Yours sincerely

Sue Broughton

Information Management Officer

Please note that I work part time and messages may not be answered
until I am next in the office.

* Strategic Support West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market
Street, Newbury RG14 5LD

Email: [email address]

' 01635 519747 (external) ' 2747 (internal)

You should be aware that all emails received and sent by this Council
are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore may be
disclosed to a third party.

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Sue Broughton, West Berkshire Council

1 Attachment

FoI/2013/843

Dear Mrs Giggins,

Request for information: Call for sites

In response to your request, you have asked:

1 I am therefore requesting a full list of sites put forward, ideally
split by area/parish in a similar format to the SHLAA. I do not require
the officer opinion on the suitability of the sites as I understand this
is still a work in progress.

The work to create such a list has not yet been completed. When the work
is completed it will be published in December 2013 in the form of an
updated SHLAA. This list will include information on sites by category -
for example those assessed as 'potentially developable' and those
assessed as 'not developable'.

Since this is still uncompleted work, and there is potential commercial
adverse impact on the site owners who have submitted their sites in
publishing the information prematurely, it is our view that it falls
within the exception Reg 12(4)(d) [the request relates to material which
is till in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to
incomplete data;]and the exception Reg 12(5)(e) [the confidentiality of
commercial or industrial information where such confidentiality is
provided by law to protect a legitimate economic interest] in the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

The public interest test in both cases is the impact of releasing
incomplete information prior to its scheduled publication date, which
could adversely affect the land owners who have put forward possible
sites for consideration. The public interest is served by the scheduled
publication of the data once it has been fully assessed, and it is
therefore our view that the public interest supports a refusal at this
time. A copy of the relevant exceptions is attached.

2 I would also like to know whether any sites have been submitted and
withdrawn, together with any correspondence that might explain the
withdrawal.

The SHLAA will contain a list of sites that are no longer in the SHLAA.
For the SHLAA due to be published in December 2013 this is a work in
progress as the Council is currently confirming with
landowners/developers etc. whether or not they want to include sites
that they have promoted in the past. As sites move in and out of the
SHLAA all the time, it would be helpful if you could clarify in what
timescale you wish this section of your request to be considered (ie.
the last six months, the last year). Please also note that we will need
to consult with any organisation which has withdrawn their site about
supplying correspondence as there will often be commercially sensitive
information included in such correspondence which would be likely to be
excepted from provision.

3 Finally, I would be grateful if you could provide an up to date
timetable for the site allocation process, particularly the dates for
public participation.
Please see the information published on our website at:
http://www.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?a...

Once you have provided the clarification for question 2 we will progress
this section of your request.

Yours sincerely

Sue Broughton

Information Management Officer

Please note that I work part time and messages may not be answered
until I am next in the office.

* Strategic Support West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market
Street, Newbury RG14 5LD

Email: [email address]

' 01635 519747 (external) ' 2747 (internal)

You should be aware that all emails received and sent by this Council
are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore may be
disclosed to a third party.

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

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Dear West Berkshire Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of West Berkshire Council's handling of my FOI request 'Site Allocations and Delivery Development Plan Document "Call for Sites"'.

1 I explained in my FOI that I did not require the finished SHLAA and was not looking for officers' assessments regarding delivery of sites. Most developers have been quite open about the sites they are promoting and what I am seeking to establish is whether further sites, including those under public ownership, have been put forward ( or indeed withdrawn) since publication of the last SHLAA ( 2011?). It is reassuring to note that an approximate date has now been fixed for publication of the SHLAA, but I repeat that this is not the document requested, and therefore I do not believe the exemption cited applies.

2 Whilst I appreciate that Ms Broughton has asked for clarification of the timescale of this question, she did not do so promptly and so I would ask that review takes into account this failure to 'advise and assist' leading to a delay in the provision of information.

For clarification I am seeking information on any withdrawals since the last published SHLAA which I believe predates the Core Strategy and the NPPF, and also information on further sites put forward and withdrawn since then ( ie sites not in the last published SHLAA, put forward since then and subsequently withdrawn).

3 I have not been provided with an up to date timetable as requested. It was the fact that the timetable on your website is out of date, together with what appears to be a delay in publication of the SHLAA that prompted this FOI in the first place. The timetable on your website provides for public participation in the DPD from September 2013 to February 2015. How can the public participate if they don't know which sites have been put forward?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

J A Giggins

Suzanne Kenchington, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2013/IR/22

Dear Mrs Giggins,

Thank you for your email. This has been passed to David Lowe to
progress.

Yours sincerely,

Suzi Kenchington
Information Support Officer
Strategic Support,
West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14
5LD
email: [email address]
' 01635 519860 (external) ' 2860 (internal)
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Sue Broughton, West Berkshire Council

FoI/2013/IR/22

Dear Mrs Giggins,

Internal Review: Call for Sites

I note that no due date was provided when your request for a review was
acknowledged. I apologise for this oversight. Your request falls within
the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and under Regulation
11(4) the authority has forty working days from receipt of the request
for a review in which to respond (by 12th December).

Yours sincerely

Sue Broughton

Information Management Officer

Please note that I work part time and messages may not be answered
until I am next in the office.

* Strategic Support West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market
Street, Newbury RG14 5LD

Email: [email address]

' 01635 519747 (external) ' 2747 (internal)

You should be aware that all emails received and sent by this Council
are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore may be
disclosed to a third party.

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

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Dear Sue Broughton,

I have looked up the section concerned and it actually says:

(4) A public authority shall notify the applicant of its decision under paragraph (3) as soon as possible and no later than 40 working days after the date of receipt of the representations.

It seems to me that the Council may be misinterpreting the provisions of the EIR regulations to delay provision of information. Since making my request several developers have publicised their development plans for the area (West Berkshire). Why can't we ( the Public) see the full list of sites, potentially including public land assets held on our behalf by West Berkshire Council?

Yours sincerely,

J A Giggins

Sue Broughton, West Berkshire Council

Dear Mr Giggins,

Thank you for your comments which I have passed to Mr Lowe for
information.

Yours sincerely

Sue Broughton

Information Management Officer

Please note that I work part time and messages may not be answered
until I am next in the office.

* Strategic Support West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market
Street, Newbury RG14 5LD

Email: [email address]

' 01635 519747 (external) ' 2747 (internal)

You should be aware that all emails received and sent by this Council
are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore may be
disclosed to a third party.

P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

show quoted sections

Suzanne Kenchington, West Berkshire Council

1 Attachment

FoI/2013/IR/22

Dear Mrs Giggins,

Internal Review: Call for Sites

Please find attached David Lowe's response to your request for a review
of the EIR request titled 'call for sites'.

Yours sincerely,

Suzi Kenchington
Information Support Officer
Strategic Support,
West Berkshire Council, Council Offices, Market Street, Newbury, RG14
5LD
email: [email address]
' 01635 519860 (external) ' 2860 (internal)
P Do you really need to print this email?

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J A Giggins left an annotation ()

The draft DPD indicating West Berkshire Council's preferred sites for development is now available here:

http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/d...

It's to be presented to the Council for approval ( to consult) on 22nd July 2014 after which the Public can have their say.

Anybody living in the North Wessex Downs AONB, paticularly Marlborough, Hungerford, Pewsey & Pangbourne and thinking that the designation protects against development should also note the draft AONB management plan which is to be presented at the same meeting:

http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/d...

J A Giggins left an annotation ()

6 years on and West Berkshire Council are doing the same thing ...ie delaying publication of sites submitted in response to the further call for sites.... Last time I looked at 'Planning Policy News' the HELAA ( which has replaced the SHLAA and includes employment as well as housing sites) was due to be published in the summer of 2019 but I have heard that the deadline has now slipped to September.

J A Giggins left an annotation ()

It was reported at the September Hungerford Town Council meeting that publication of the HELAA is now not expected until October 2019.....