Stockport Homes Limited - Planning Application DC/063722 Biomass Plant

Charlotte Pritchard made this Freedom of Information request to Stockport Homes Limited

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 Stockport Homes Limited.

Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Stockport Homes Limited,

Could you please provide copies of all documents / papers / minutes / emails / notes residing with you, with reference to the business case, including financials and reasoning produced by yourselves / and or agents and possibly shared with Stockport MBC for the construction of a Biomass Wood Fuel Plant to be built on Battersea Road, Heaton Mersey?

Whilst I realise that you will be aware of the 20 business in which to supply, I would be very grateful of your recognition and consideration of the ICO guidance to supply as soon as possible but no later than 20 days, as I believe a planning decision on this matter is due to be concluded in the next fortnight in your favour and my preference of course would be to receive this information prior to that decision.

For clarity I am not seeking any information about your planning application as that would not be subject to a Freedom of Information request.

Yours faithfully,

Charlotte Pritchard

Assurance - Stockport Homes, Stockport Homes Limited

Dear Charlotte,

Our Reference: FOI 2840

Thank you for your contact via the What Do They Know website received yesterday, requesting information about the construction of a biomass unit at Battersea Road, Stockport.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Stockport Homes has twenty working days to provide you with an answer to your request. We will respond to you no later than 28th February 2017.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.

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

Yours sincerely,

Kindest regards

Claire Maude
Assurance Officer
Finance Directorate
Stockport Homes
1 St Peter’s Square
Stockport
SK1 1NZ

Tel: 0161 474 3577
Fax: 0161 480 4358
Web: www.stockporthomes.org

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Samantha Donigan, Stockport Homes Limited

Dear Charlotte,

Our Reference: FOI 2840

I refer to the email below and your recent Freedom of Information request.

Please could you call me on 0161 474 2139 to discuss the request you have made?

Thanks,

Samantha Donigan
Assurance Manager
Stockport Homes

Tel: 0161 474 2139

From: Claire Maude - Stockport Homes On Behalf Of Assurance - Stockport Homes
Sent: 01 February 2017 09:53
To: 'Charlotte Pritchard' <[FOI #386264 email]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - our reference FOI 2840 - Stockport Homes Limited - Planning Application DC/063722 Biomass Plant

Dear Charlotte,

Our Reference: FOI 2840

Thank you for your contact via the What Do They Know website received yesterday, requesting information about the construction of a biomass unit at Battersea Road, Stockport.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Stockport Homes has twenty working days to provide you with an answer to your request. We will respond to you no later than 28th February 2017.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.

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

Yours sincerely,

Kindest regards

Claire Maude
Assurance Officer
Finance Directorate
Stockport Homes
1 St Peter’s Square
Stockport
SK1 1NZ

Tel: 0161 474 3577
Fax: 0161 480 4358
Web: www.stockporthomes.org

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Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Samantha Donigan,

Thank you for your response and invitation for me to call you.

This is a well known public forum website for conducting foia requests by way of digital means. If you have any questions regarding my request or need clarity, I would be grateful if you would communicate them here in the written form please?

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Pritchard

Samantha Donigan, Stockport Homes Limited

Hi Charlotte, thank you for your email.

Given the extent of the information requested, we estimate that determining appropriate material and locating, retrieving and extracting such information would far exceed the 18 hours limit and also exceed the appropriate limit of £450 as set out in Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which means Stockport Homes could refuse to provide information in this case, ref FOI 2840.

An example of why the request exceeds the above amount is that you have asked for all documents / papers / minutes / emails / notes residing with Stockport Homes, with reference to the business case, including financials and reasoning produced by ourselves / and or agents and possibly shared with Stockport MBC for the construction of a Biomass Wood Fuel Plant to be built on Battersea Road, Heaton Mersey.

With this in mind, your Freedom of Information (FOI) request is being refused at this point, under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act.

You may wish to refine your request by narrowing its scope, by being more specific about what particular information you wish to have access to, including any dates or a period of time relevant to the information required.

If you wish to discuss this matter further please contact me.

Thanks,

Samantha Donigan
Assurance Manager
Stockport Homes

Tel: 0161 474 2139

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Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Samantha Donigan,

I do believe that you should have given more guidance for what would have been available within your cost constraint, for example a time frame. I am also not of the view that the information I had requested would have breached the threshold cost.

In consequence I revise as requested my request to the following:-

Please supply all digital files residing at Stockport Homes that have considered the business plan/proposition for said application. This should take less than an hour in my estimation. They should be held by your colleagues Joe Keating and or James Thorn.

Additionally please supply copies of emails that either contain this application number or the word Biomass from 1st August 2016 connected to this application. Again this element should only take a short time.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Pritchard

Samantha Donigan, Stockport Homes Limited

Thank you for your email.

 

You have reached the Stockport Homes' Assurance Team.

 

I am currently out of the office, returning on the afternoon of Thursday
23rd February 2017.

 

I will respond to your email as soon as I am next in the office.

 

If your email is urgent please call the Assurance Team on 0161 474 2139.

 

Regards,

 

Samantha Donigan

Assurance Manager

 

 

 

Confidentiality:- This email, its contents and any attachments are
intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential
or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are
not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message
to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments
immediately and inform the sender of the error.

Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Stockport Homes Limited,

May I please remind the authority that I am expecting a substantive response to my request for information made to you on the 31st January 2017 by the latest tomorrow?

Yours faithfully,

Charlotte Pritchard

Assurance - Stockport Homes, Stockport Homes Limited

Dear Charlotte,

Our reference FOI 2840 and FOI 2848

Thank you for your emails received 23rd February and 27th February 2017 regarding the proposed biomass plant site at Battersea Road, Stockport.

Under Section 12 of the FOI Act 2000, Stockport Homes issued a refusal notice to your request for information within the designated period of twenty working days (our reference FOI 2840) on the 14th February 2017. The request was refused because we believe the volume of information requested exceeded the appropriate time and cost limits. As part of this refusal, we invited you to refine your request by narrowing its scope or being more specific about what particular information you wished to have access to, and to include dates or a period of time relevant to the information you were seeking.

Under the FOI Act 2000, the clarification you provided us with on the 23rd February 2017 constitutes a new FOI request. Therefore the time for compliance to this request resets to 20 working days, with the new date of receipt of information being provided to you no later than the 23rd March 2017.

With this in mind we have assigned a new reference number for this refined request, our reference FOI 2848. Please quote this new reference in any future correspondence with us on this matter.

Kindest regards

Claire Maude
Assurance Officer
Finance Directorate
Stockport Homes
1 St Peter’s Square
Stockport
SK1 1NZ

Tel: 0161 474 3577
Fax: 0161 480 4358
Web: www.stockporthomes.org

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Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Assurance - Stockport Homes,

Thank you for your further response.

You are required when engaging section 12 to explain how the requester can bring their request within the acceptable limit (section 45 code of practice). By omitting this advice you are open to challenge via the Commissioner. Clearly you did not do this and instead you simply advised that I revise my request without sufficient guidance. Under section 16 you have a duty to advise and assist.

Further as noted in a previous email, I question whether your estimate of cost is 'sensible, realistic and supported by cogent evidence'? You have also failed to support your reliance on the cost ceiling by giving no explanation as to how you arrived at your decision. The commissioner would expect some detail from you.

In any request made to a public body, you must first and foremost confirm or deny whether you hold the requested information. On this point you have omitted to do so.

May I remark that if a Public Body decides to refuse a request by engaging section 12, you must state / signpost your internal complaints procedure and externally the contact details of the Information Commissioners Office to register a complaint if required. On this point you have also omitted to do so.

Although the clock of 20 working days has started again, may I request that adherence to supply 'promptly' in the act is followed especially as this matter concerns an imminent planning application for approval that will affect the community of Heaton Mersey and that you may have already prior to engaging section 12 located some of the information?

Whilst noting your updated date to supply may I ask you, whilst awaiting the revised information I requested by way of a business as usual request, to inform me of the details of what you searched for and found on my initial request prior to deciding that you would engage section 12 to my request (see section 16)?

Lastly, and also on a business as usual request can you please by return confirm or deny whether you hold the revised information that I have requested and confirm that it now fits in with your cost ceiling please? I am particularly concerned that I do not receive any further surprises in my revised request!

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Pritchard

Samantha Donigan, Stockport Homes Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Pritchard,

 

I write in connection with your recent FOI request to Stockport Homes.
This is in relation to the planning application for a biomass wood chip
fuel plant on Battersea Road, and was assigned the reference number FOI
2848.

 

I write to inform you that this application is no longer live, i.e.
Stockport Homes have now withdrawn this planning application. In view of
this I wanted to take the opportunity to contact you to ascertain whether
you wish to proceed with this FOI request or not.

 

[1]http://planning.stockport.gov.uk/Plannin...

 

I look forward to hearing from you,

 

Kind Regards

Samantha

 

 

Thanks,

 

Samantha Donigan

Assurance Manager

Directorate of Resources

Stockport Homes

1 St Peter’s Square

Stockport

SK1 1NZ 

 

Tel: 0161 474 2139

Fax: 0161 474 4860

[2]www.stockporthomes.org

 

[3]New Footer

 

Confidentiality:- This email, its contents and any attachments are
intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential
or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are
not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message
to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments
immediately and inform the sender of the error.

References

Visible links
1. http://planning.stockport.gov.uk/Plannin...
2. http://www.stockporthomes.org/

Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Samantha Donigan,

The withdrawing of the application has no connection to the request for information that I have made.

Please supply all the information requested within the 20 working days legislation, as your apparent resistance to do so continues to be of concern.

You are a public body and your duty is to be fully transparent.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Pritchard

Charlotte Pritchard

Dear Samantha Donigan,

It was interesting to note that Stockport Homes Ltd (Joe Keating) wrote to a number of potential landowners on the 8th March 2017 to enquire about a new potential site for a Biomass plant, one day before a public meeting on the matter was held and two days before it became officially known that your company had withdrawn your application for a site on Battersea Road.

You could have saved the community the cost of that public meeting if you cared about the community!

What is particularly interesting is that you enquired for a new site location just a few hundred metres away from the Battersea Road site on Green Belt land. I suspect many will feel that is quite abhorrent.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte Pritchard

Assurance - Stockport Homes, Stockport Homes Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Ms. Pritchard,

 

Our reference: FOI 2848

 

Thank you for your request through the What Do They Know website,
clarifying your requirement for information about the proposed biomass
site at Battersea Road, Stockport.

 

I can confirm that Stockport Homes holds this data, please find attached a
pdf file.

 

As you will see, elements of this file have been redacted. This is because
the information is exempt from release under section 43(2) of the Freedom
of Information Act. This exemption relates to commercial interests.
Stockport Homes have performed a public interest test determining that the
public interest in releasing the information does not outweigh the
prejudice which would be caused to Stockport Homes’ ability to negotiate
best value in development opportunities.

 

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 forty days of the date of receipt of the response to this
request and should be addressed to: The Director of Resources, Stockport
Homes, 1 St. Peter’s Square, Stockport, SK1 1NZ.

 

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.

 

 

Kindest regards

 

Claire Maude

Assurance Officer

Directorate of Resources

Stockport Homes

1 St Peter’s Square

Stockport

SK1 1NZ 

 

Tel: 0161 474 3577

Fax: 0161 480 4358

Web: [1]www.stockporthomes.org

 

 

[2]New Footer

 

Confidentiality:- This email, its contents and any attachments are
intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential
or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are
not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message
to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments
immediately and inform the sender of the error.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.stockporthomes.org/