Freedom of information response

Illegal building on council land adjacent to Rookery View, Grays

Publication date: 
Friday 4 September 2020
Request: 

1. Please could you forward copies of both the surveyors reports so that I can take specialist advice on this.  I request these under the Freedom of Information Act.  There should be no issue with this as they are the basis of the council’s decision, which I believe to be flawed and influenced by other factors.

2. A copy of the surveyors report from when the house was first purchased by the current resident.

3. Copies of any communications made from the council to the resident and vice versa, including any made by councillors.

Response: 

1. Please see attached document Appendix A

2. Unfortunately we are unable to provide in full the information you have requested. We do hold the information but an absolute exemption applies. Personal Information (Section 40,2).

Personal data of any other person (third party data) is exempt under section 40(2) if disclosure would breach of the data protection principles. This aspect of Section 40 is an Absolute Exemption and is therefore not subject to the Public Interest Test. 

This means we have balanced the legitimate interests of the public in having access to the information (under FOI a disclosure is a publication to the world at large) against the interests of the individual under the first principle of the Data Protection Act.

The surveyors report would have been privately commissioned by the resident when purchasing the property, it is therefore personal to them as the homeowners and as such cannot be released.

3. Unfortunately we are unable to provide in full the information you have requested. We do hold the information but an absolute exemption applies. Personal Information (Section 40,2) as detailed above for question 2 also.

Personal data of any other person (third party data) is exempt under section 40(2) if disclosure would breach one of the data protection principles. This aspect of Section 40 is an Absolute Exemption and is therefore not subject to the Public Interest Test.

Individual councillors are not public authorities for the purposes of the FOI Act, and when councillors write to the council this correspondence would be considered as personal information about themselves and/or the constituents that they represent and therefore subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Additionally communications between the council and a resident is also considered personal to the resident and their individual circumstances. Information can be withheld if its disclosure would be likely to breach one or more of the Principles of the Data Protection Act. A disclosure made under FOI constitutes a publication to the world at large. We believe that to disclose this would be likely to breach the first Principle of the Data Protection Act by unfairly contravening their right to privacy and confidentiality.

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes.  However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information.  Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

Request reference:
FOI 10171