FOI request detail

Tree Root Subsidence Damage on Hillside Close

Request ID: FOI-1900-2021
Date published: 14 January 2021

You asked

We write to request disclosure of details of any claims of subsidence caused by trees within or in the area of TG1. We should be obliged if you provide us with details of each and every incident of subsidence from your records. We also request a full copy of the tree maintenance records and work orders relating to these claims. This letter is sent pursuant to a request under Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We answered

 Our ref: FOI-1900-2021/GH

Thank you for your further email asking for information about any claims of subsidence caused by trees within or in the area of TG1.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our information access policy.

I can confirm that we do hold the information you require. However, to provide the information you have requested would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ of £450 set by the Freedom of Information (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to comply with requests if we estimate that the cost of determining whether we hold the information, locating and retrieving it and extracting it from other information would exceed the appropriate limit. In this instance, we estimate that the time required to answer your request would exceed 18 hours which, at £25 per hour (the rate stipulated by the Regulations), exceeds the ‘appropriate limit’.

As previously advised, our claims handler, Gallagher Bassett, do not record claims by geographical location, and therefore to provide information on any claims relating to these trees would not be an easy task and would require manual checks of all claims received to ascertain if they are relevant to this location. Whilst we agree the area referred to as ‘TG1’ is not large, as Gallagher Basset are not able to search for claims by geographical areas, answering your request would take an excessive amount of time. Additionally, you have not provided a time frame for your request, and therefore they would need to check the details of any claims received as far back as their records go, which is approximately 18 years.

Were Gallagher Bassett able to identify any previous claims for subsidence in the area ‘TG1’, we would then need to use this information to carry out further searches for the ‘full copy of the tree maintenance records and work orders relating to these claims’, you have requested, which would further exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ in dealing with your request.

To help bring the cost of responding to your requests within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider refining your requests to concentrate on matters which are important to you.

Although your request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, TfL does not have to answer your question if it would require the creation of new information or the provision of a judgement, explanation, advice or opinion that was not already recorded at the time of your request. If you have specific questions relating to these topics we may be more easily able to respond to these than to a request for any information held.

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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