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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 3125

Land at Bell Mead

Request

Please provide documents showing:
    
     1. How Brentwood Borough Council came into ownership of the land on which Bell Mead sits.
     2. What proportion of the site is in use as Bell Mead.
     2. How much Brentwood Borough Council paid for the site.
     3. If the site was obtained in 1974 from the predecessor local authority, Chelmsford Rural District Council, how much they originally paid for the site.
     4. Whether Brentwood Borough Council paid for the construction of the roadway and lay by, and if so for what cost.
     5. Any covenants or agreements with third parties relating to the site, or the provision of the roadway and lay by.

Response

I write further to previous correspondence in relation to your request for information dated 6 February.
This request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
I note that you requested, via e-mail on 12 March, that the Council to internally review its FOIA process in relation to your request for information because of the time taken to respond to your request. However, the Council contacted you for clarification of the land in question on 2 March, but unfortunately the Council’s e-mails were returned as undeliverable. The Council contacted the web-site on 2 March to notify the web-site that it was having problems sending you an e-mail seeking further information/clarification in relation to your request for information. The Council did respond to you within 20 working days of the FOIA statutory timeframe, seeking clarification of the parcel of land you were referring to as “Bell Mead” in relation to your data request. A further e-mail was sent to you on 5 March. Subsequent to your request for an internal review, I note your further e-mail dated 12 March acknowledges the Council’s request for further information. You have declined to send the Council a plan of the land you are referring to, albeit the council still consider this request to be reasonable, but have clarified that the land subject to your enquiry has been recently in press statements.
I am therefore responding to your enquiries as follows(please note that you have used question 2 twice, so I have re-numbered the answers to your enquiries accordingly:
1. By way of a transfer deed dated 17 January 1989 between Bass Holdings Limited (1) and Brentwood District Council (2).
2. The land proposed for disposal is unoccupied and fenced off. This land is at the end of the Bell Mead roadway. The road, Bell Mead, is separate to the land.
3. £175,000.00.
4. The site was not obtained from Chelmsford Rural DC.
5. It is believed that the Council constructed the carriageway and parking areas in the early 1990s and no longer has records of the contracts that were accepted as part of the tender exercise leading to the construction of the carriageway and parking areas.
6. In relation to the information requested under the FOIA, this Authority has the right to refuse an applicant information, if an exemption applies. The Authority considers that an absolute exemption applies to your request under Section 21 of the FOIA, which states that “information requested may be exempt if it reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means”. The Council’s registered title number is EX399006. As this information you requested is available from the HM Land Registry, I am of the opinion that this absolute exemption applies to your request for this information. You can contact the Land Registry, Peterborough Office at Touthill Close, City Road, PeterboroughPE11XN; Tel: 08448921111; customersupport@landregistry.gsi.gov.uk
If you are unhappy with the handling of your request, or wish to make representations to the Council if you believe the Council has failed to comply with the FOIA in relation to this request, please inform the Council in writing. You should supply details that you feel are relevant to your complaint. This should be addressed to “The Complaints Coordinator, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY”.
If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner (at The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF; Telephone: 0303 123 1113; Website: www.ico.gov.uk) for a decision as to whether, in any specified respect, your request for Information made to the Council has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please note there is currently no charge for making an appeal.