Page updated 8th Sept 2016
Information released by the Vale under Freedom of Information Act and Enviromental Information Regulations
For more information, please contact WWCC at email@example.com.
New: information on Vale’s costs and revenue with respect to West Way Shopping Centre
response 1 – legal and professional costs for proposed sale of WWSC and preparation of SPD
Documents on Mace’s Affordable Housing Viability Statement
New: Information related to materials containing asbestos in the West Way Shopping Centre
Seacourt Hall is the responsibility of North Hinksey Parish Council
Further information relating the the Supplementary Planning Document (released 8th Jan 2016)
Summary of Freedom of Information requests can be found in the links below:
Information relating the the Supplementary Planning Document (released 26th Oct 2015)
Information released concerning the Supplementary Planning Document
Information released concerning the marketing and sale of West Way Shopping Centre, and adjacent office buildings
Information released to reflect decision of First Tier Tribunal
Decision report from the First Tier Tribunal, received 25th June
- click here for the report
Further information released by the Vale (12th June 2015) is available via the links below:
- Note prepared by DTZ about proposed sale of WWSC to Doric, 02 02 12
- DTZ Note – proposed contractual structure with Doric 10 02 12
- Pinsents decision tree analysis 2011-03-22
- Brochure prepared by Doric (1612-PGG-02-Brochure)
- email Mark Williams to Graham Hawkins 22-10-20
- email from Matt Prosser 16-08-2012
Information provided by the Vale, prior to and during the First-Tier Tribunal (31st March / 1st April 2015)
Open Bundle 2, provided in advance of Tribunal. This contains minutes of Cabinet meetings, records of Cabinet member decisions, and a report prepared by DTZ on behalf of the VWHDC
Mary Gill, 5th May 2015
In November 2013, I submitted a request to the Vale District Council for information about the decision process which led to the award of the conditional contract with Doric Properties for the sale of WWSC and the nearby office blocks, Seacourt Community Hall and the Baptist Church. As we know, this agreement with Doric paved the way for the planning application for ‘Botley District Centre’, which was rejected by the Vale Planning Committee in December 2014.
My request to the Vale was:
I request information on the decision to award a contract to Doric Properties for the development of the West Way Centre, including, but not limited to:
1 Bid documentation provided to prospective bidders;
2 Process for and criteria for selection of successful bidder;
3 Number of organisations who expressed an interest in bidding;
4 Number of organisations who submitted a bid;
5 Names of organisations who submitted a bid;
6 Minutes of meetings and correspondence on the subject.
The Vale informed me that my request came under Environmental Information Regulations rather than the Freedom of Information Act. The difference is that the Environmental Information Regulations require stronger evidence to support withholding information than does Freedom of Information, but both acts are in place to facilitate ‘more effective participation by the public in environmental decision making’.
I felt that the public had had no active part in the decision to select Doric, and their proposed scheme for Botley. We were not even informed about it until the Agreement was signed to sell the West Way Shopping Centre and to consider Compulsory Purchase Orders of land owned by others.
I complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who upheld my complaint. The Vale were instructed to release the information as requested. They released some further information, in September 2014, but refused any further release and appealed against the ICO’s decision.
The appeal was heard by the First Tier Tribunal, in London, over two days; 31st March to 1st April.
Prior to the Tribunal, (and following the announcement that Doric/Mace were likely to withdraw their appeal against the planning decision), the Vale released some further information in redacted form (i.e. some bits which the Vale and Doric wished to keep secret were blacked out). During the tribunal proceedings further information was released, and the links above contain the redacted document (Open Bundle 2) and the un-redacted information, plus some selected clauses from the Doric / Vale agreement, which were also released at the Tribunal.
Further information was released on 12th June. The decision of the Tribunal was released on the 25th June. The decision partially upheld the Vale’s appeal, but also requires them to release some additional information.