Use of the site of the former Stepps Primary School

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I request all information, including email correspondence, relating to the use of the site of the former Stepps Primary School in Stepps. Please include all information including any discussion, any proposals and/or decision relating to the use of the site.

In addition, please advise on what consultation regarding the possible uses of the site took place and with whom, and details of any option appraisal (or similar) relating to the use of the site.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

C. Graham

McKay Neil, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir / Madam

I acknowledge receipt of your email seeking information in relation to the
use of the site of the former Stepps Primary school.

Your request is receiving attention, however, in order to progress the
matter further I require clarification of your request. Please could you
clarify the time frame over which you wish the information requested? For
example do you require information on the use of this site for the period
prior to it being sold - or some other? I should advise that if you
require all documents then this is likely to incur a fee. If you wish me
to proceed on this basis, please let me know. Alternatively, you could
focus your request more specifically which should enable a more productive
search.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards

Neil McKay

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Services

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell ML1 1AB

Tel : 01698 302 484

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Dear Mr McKay,

Thank you for your reply. For clarification, the first part of my request relates to the period prior to the site being sold, and I am specifically interested in information relating to how the decision regarding the future use of the site was made, including any opinions or discussion on this matter. As I am unsure when and how this decision was made, I would be happy that you limit your search to the six months prior to the site being sold, unless you advise me that a different period would be more productive in this regard.

Many thanks for your help with this matter.

Yours sincerely,

C. Graham

McKay Neil, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Request for Information

I refer again to your e-mail of 23 January 2009 and subsequent e-mail of
5 February 2009 clarifying the information sought to be on the use of the
site of the former Stepps Primary School, with a specific focus on how the
decision regarding the future use of the site was made.

Having investigated, I can advise that decisions regarding the use of the
site were taken by the Council and its Committees and Sub‑Committees. 
The reports informing these decisions and the Minutes of meetings
recording the decisions taken are publicly available. You may know that
Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 provides an
absolute exemption for information which is already accessible.  The
reports and minutes of meetings can be obtained by you in a number of
ways.  Firstly, they can be viewed by calling at the Council Offices,
Civic Centre, Motherwell.  Secondly, the Council makes a charge of 32p
per sheet for the provision of these documents, which can be arranged if
you wish.  Alternatively, they can be viewed free of charge, on the
Council’s website at http://northlan.gov.uk under the MARS (Minutes,
Agendas and Reports System).  The relevant Committees with regard to your
enquiry are the Policy and Resources (Property) Sub‑Committee and the
Housing and Social Work Services Committee.  For ease of reference the
electronic addresses to a number of relevant reports and minutes are as
follows:-

[1]http://mars.northlan.gov.uk/xpedio/group...

[2]http://mars.northlan.gov.uk/xpedio/group...
(paragraph 31 of the minute)

[3]http://mars.northlan.gov.uk/xpedio/group...
(page 14 of the report refers to site of former Stepps Primary School)

[4]http://mars.northlan.gov.uk/xpedio/group...
(paragraph 3 of the minute)

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive
Director of Corporate Services at the above address.  Accordingly, if you
are dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to
the Executive Director of Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act.  Such an application must be in writing
or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is
capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording
made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an
address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to
which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to
the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local
authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant’s
dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the
failure of the local authority to issue such a decision.  The Scottish
Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew’s

KY16  9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose.  If, however, you
require further information – or I can assist in any other way –
please let me know.

Yours faithfully,

Neil McKay

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Services

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell ML1 1AB

Tel : 01698 302 484

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Dear McKay Neil,

Thank you for your reply, which has been helpful. However, it does not fully answer my original questions about how the decision was taken (although you have shown me when the decision was formally taken/approved, and by whom). I would be grateful if you could answer the following:

With reference to paragraph 4 of the document reference WP/FF/H1411219 dated 24 October 2007,

• Please confirm that, as implied by paragraph 4.1, the only use considered for the site was ‘potential social housing projects’.

• Please confirm that no option appraisal of the site was carried out, to determine whether other uses would be possible or indeed preferable to social housing.

• Please provide details of any consultation undertaken with the community of Stepps, including Stepps & District Community Council, and how the views of the community were taken into account.

In addition,

• With regard to paragraph 4.2, please confirm whether a further independent valuation of the site was carried out, in addition to that carried out by the ‘District Valuer who represented the Housing Association’, and provide details of that.

• Please provide further information relating to the ‘negotiations with the District Valuer’, refered to in paragraph 4.2. What form did these negotiations take? Who was present? Please provide any correspondence in this regard, including emails, reports, minutes etc.

Thank you for your help with this matter.

Yours sincerely,

C. Graham

McKay Neil, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

I acknowledge receipt of your email which is receiving attention.

I shall contact you again when I am in a position to respond more fully to
your request.

Yours faithfully,

Neil McKay

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Services

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell ML1 1AB

Tel: 01698 302 484

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McKay Neil, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Request for Information

I refer again to your e‑mail of 10 March 2009 seeking information on how
a decision was taken relative to the use of the site of former Stepps
Primary School.

Having investigated, I can advise that the decision was taken in
accordance with the Council's procedures for property disposals and I
attach a link to a report to the Planning and Development Committee which
amongst other things outlines this.  The link is as follows:-

[1]http://mars.northlan.gov.uk/xpedio/group...

By way of some background I am advised that the site was identified and
assessed as meeting the local housing strategy priorities.  I am advised
also, that at that time the Community Council/local community groups were
not generally consulted on the use of particular sites for social housing

With regard to the valuation of the site, the valuation was carried out by
the Property Services Division and no further valuation apart from the one
carried out by the District Valuer representing the Housing Association
was undertaken.  I regret to advise you that further information relating
to the negotiations between Property Services and the District Valuer
falls within the exemption detailed in Section 30 of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002 inasmuch as its disclosure would prejudice
substantially, or be likely to prejudice substantially, the effective
conduct of public affairs and in all other circumstances of the case, it
has been concluded that the public interest in disclosing the information
is outweighed by that in maintaining the exemption.

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can require a review of that decision by writing to the Executive
Director of Corporate Services, Civic Centre, Windmillhill Street,
Motherwell ML1 1AB.  Accordingly, if you are dissatisfied with this
decision and seek such review please write to the Executive Director of
Corporate Services.

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act.  Such an application must be in writing
or in another form which, by reason of it having some permanency is
capable of being used for subsequent reference - for example a recording
made in audio or video tape - must state the name of the applicant and an
address for correspondence and must specify the request for information to
which the requirement for review relates, the matter which gave rise to
the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the original decision of the local
authority and the matter which gives rise to the applicant’s
dissatisfaction with the decision on review by the local authority or the
failure of the local authority to issue such a decision.  The Scottish
Information Commissioner can be contacted as follows:-

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrew’s

KY16  9DS

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose.  If, however, you
require further information – or I can assist in any other way –
please let me know.

Yours faithfully,

Neil McKay

For Corporate Freedom of Information Officer

Corporate Services

Civic Centre

Windmillhill Street

Motherwell ML1 1AB

Tel : 01698 302 484

show quoted sections