Freedom of Information requests about empty properties

We have received recent advice from the Information Commissioner that there should be a presumption against providing details of addresses of empty properties within the borough. This reflects the fact that not only could the disclosure of such addresses undermine the privacy of individuals pursuant to the Data Protection Act 1998 but also potentially result in disturbance to neighbourhoods and individuals as a result of criminal activity associated with the occupancy of such properties.

We have evidence of such incidents occurring locally, and in reviewing whether to exercise the exemption from such disclosure pursuant to section 31 and 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it has had regard both to the benefit of providing such information to you (and hence the public generally) against the benefit of withholding it (the public interest test).

On balance given the importance which it attaches to the prevention and detection of crime and the improvement of local neighbourhoods as part of its Building a Better Bromley strategy, it considers that in the present case the balance should be struck in preserving individuals' safety and quality of life.

Therefore with the above in mind, we are unable to provide any details or lists of empty properties within the borough. If any Freedom of Information requests are submitted, we are still unable to provide any details of empty properties within the borough.