28/11/2019: In this linked email, Cadastre notified the DPA of the existing use before 2000. The DPA Director acknowledged it. After this, the ‘pre-2009’ pathway should have been followed and the Certificate issued; there was nothing else left to consider.

Instead, the DPA went on a 75-day journey, visiting every reason not to issue, all the time knowing that I had a tenant waiting. I contacted them many times whilst they created the smokescreen of why they had to take so long.

It took many emails and phone calls, and finally, only after my complaint was made via the internal complaints process, was the Certificate issued.

The internal review was suboptimal. Eventually, this led to the Independent Complaints Panel becoming involved, which, in turn, led to another internal review by way of an appeal. I had not been advised of this by the initial reviewer despite him having signed off the complaints procedure. Without this step, a complaint cannot be escalated to a Review Board.

After this it took me two years to extract data from the Civil Service, the only tool being Data Protection Subject Access Requests, during which the DPA were found to have broken the Law by the ODPA.

We will pick up the trail again when the matter is finally escalated to an Admin Review Board, and even then, right towards the end…