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Sunday, 30 September 2018

Knowle relocation project: latest on FOI request for PegasusLife viability report

There have been several Freedom of Information requests over recent months asking questions about the District Council's relocation project:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: latest FOI request on costs
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: Freedom of Information requests > and questions of money, process and viability
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "The true cost of relocation is almost certainly at least £20 million."

One of the key issues has been whether the District Council has really got a good deal: one recent FOI request asked how it was that the developer would end up with a property worth £50m - compared to the current £7m value of the site:
Who knew that The Knowle had a reported developable value of £50 million pounds? - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

Another key issue has been 'viability' - and not just from the point of view of the developer:
Futures Forum: How viability assessments allow developers to break promises made to get planning permission and cut the number of affordable houses by half

And so another FOI request asked to see the complete, unredacted version of the 'viablity appraisal' put together by the developer to justify not spending on affordable housing:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: new FOI request for PegasusLife viability report

The District Council refused to provide the full report - and so the FOI request went to the Information Commissioner to consider - again, on the WDTK website:
PegasusLife viability report - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow 


The ICO has now issued a Decision Notice, stating that the redacted information is indeed commercially sensitive - at least in March of this year when the FOI request was made - although things might well have changed since then.

To view the report, go to the ICO's search pages and look for Ref: FS50734088
| Search | ICO

Meanwhile, another FOI request has asked what's up with the new HQ:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: new FOI request for a full list of those 'involved in the construction of the new office block' in Honiton.
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