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Development of Colchester

This Freedom of Information request concerns the development of Colchester

FOI16709 - Request for information


Thank you for your email of 3 October 2016 requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000:

I am doing my dissertation based on the development of Colchester over the last 50 years and calculating the impact this has had on the River Colne, Colchester, essex.

I was wondering if you had any maps that show .

  1. the boundaries within colchester, Essex ie what areas are classed as lexden, west bergholt, earls colne, brightlingsea ect .
  2. maps that show colchester over the last 50 years,
  3. land use data
  4. the drainage basin of the river colne,
  5. maps of any of these areas
    - earls colne
    - west bergholt
    - colchester town
    - brightlingsea

Our Response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold information in relation to questions 1), 2), 3) and 5) below, however, such information is exempt from disclosure under Section 21 (Information accessible by other means) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. We consider this exemption applies because the requested information is accessible to you as it is already in the public domain. Whilst there may be a cost to obtain some of the requested information section 21 (2) (a) of the FOIA advises that information may be considered reasonably accessible to the applicant even though it is accessible only on payment.

Please find below details to help you access the requested information.

Section 21 is an absolute exemption therefore no public interest test is applicable.

Ordnance Survey does not hold information in relation to question 4), however, under our duty to provide advice and assistance in accordance with s16 of the FOIA, we have provided information below at 4) which should assist you.

  1. The boundaries within Colchester, Essex ie what areas are classed as lexden, west bergholt, earls colne, brightlingsea ect . This information is already publicly available from Ordnance Survey. The areas described are present in Boundary-Line as Parishes and/or Wards. Boundary-Line is a dataset of political and administrative boundaries for Great Britain. You can use our Boundary-Line product at:https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/boundary-line.html
  2. Maps that show Colchester over the last 50 years. This information is available from Groundsure or Landmark’s Promap system:http://www.promap.co.uk/maps-and-data/historical-mapping https://www.groundsure.com/report/map-insight-historical-maps/
  3. Land use data. Land use data is commercially available from The GeoInformation Group in their UK Land Product http://www.geoinformationgroup.co.uk/ukland
  4. The drainage basin of the River Colne. You can use our OS Open Rivers product at the link below together with a GIS with the applicable functionality to derive the basin. Please see the section below about our University Research Department who should be able to assist if you have any questions.https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/os-open-rivers.html
  5. Maps of Earls Colne, West Bergholt, Colchester Town, Brightlingsea This information is already publicly available from Ordnance Survey. You can use our OpenData or OS Open Map – Local product. https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendata/viewer/index.html https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/os-open-map-local.html

Please also see the link below to the business products page of our website which describes all of our mapping products (commercial and free) available to you:

University Research Department
As we advised in our email of 20 October 2016, Ordnance Survey has a University research department which deals with similar requests for data from University students, see enclosed link for more information:

This department has a specific email address to which enquiries can be made and they would be able to assist with your questions, work with you and provide advice:

We hope that the above information is useful and wish you well with your dissertation.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

Email: foi@os.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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