FOI request detail

South Kensington Development

Request ID: FOI-0725-1920
Date published: 05 August 2019

You asked

Please supply me with a copy of all instructions, reports, letters and other communications (including emails) passing between TfL and (1) Native Land and (2) Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, relating to the proposed mass, scale, height and usage of past or proposed buildings on Thurloe Bridge, in the period between January 2018 and the date of this request.

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-0725-1920

Thank you for your revised request received on 9 June 2019 asking for information about the development of the area around South Kensington Station.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

Please find the requested documents attached. Due to the size of the files I shall send through the remaining documents separately.

In accordance with the EIR, we are not obliged to supply some of the requested information as it is subject to a statutory exception to the right of access to information under regulation12 (5) (e). In this instance the regulation12 (5) (e) exception has been applied as disclosure would adversely affect the confidentiality of commercial information, when protected by law to cover the legitimate economic interest of TfL and the property owners. Disclosure would also affect our ability to enter into commercial negotiations, and therefore likely to disrupt the progress of developments.

The use of this exception is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, particularly where the expenditure of public money is concerned, but in this instance the public interest in ensuring that we are able to obtain the best value for public money from our negotiations outweighs the general public interest in increasing transparency of our processes. Whilst we understand that any proposals for development will be of interest to residents, the rights of all individuals concerned will be assessed under the planning process which also gives them a right to obtain information and challenge any future proposals.

In addition, some information has been redacted from 6b and 6c as it is subject to statutory exemptions to the right of access to information, under regulation 12(5)(a) of the EIR. In this instance the exception has been applied to this information as it could adversely affect the safety and security of the general public as it provides details about the proposed design.

Whilst we make no suggestion that you would use this information for anything other than you own personal interest, disclosure of this information to you has to be regarded as a disclosure to ‘the public at large’. This information could potentially be obtained and utilised by individuals who may wish to use this information to cause disruption or harm to the London Underground network. The London Underground system is an attractive terrorist target for several reasons including, its importance to London and the knock on effect to the nation’s economy if it is disrupted, the publicity gained from attacking an iconic transport system and the attractiveness of the system for a mass casualty attack due to its open, mass transport nature. It is also part of the nation’s critical infrastructure by virtue of its central importance to the functioning of London and its economy.

Disclosure of information could compromise security and safety preparedness on London Underground’s network and would place members of the public and TfL staff at risk by highlighting areas on the station which could be susceptible to being targeted.

The use of this exemption is subject to an assessment of the public interest in relation to the disclosure of the information concerned. We recognise the need for openness and transparency by public authorities, but in this instance the public interest in applying the exemption, in order to minimise risks to operational resilience, safe operation of the London Underground network, the welfare of staff and members of the general public, outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

In accordance with our obligations under Data Protection legislation some information has been withheld from the attached correspondence, as required by regulation 13 of the EIR. This is because disclosure of this personal data would be a breach of the legislation, specifically the first principle of Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the processing ‘fair’.

This exemption to the right of access to information is an absolute exemption and not subject to an assessment of whether the public interest favours use of the exemption.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please feel free to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London
[email protected]


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