Re: I apologize for being ignorant in this...
I think you can get the name (and possibly contact address) of the owner of a property from the land registry (for a nominal fee), but that doesn't tell you whether the property is occupied. The council will know this from the council tax record for the property (single occupant pays less than multiple people occupying, zero occupants pays less again I believe), but that isn't a matter of public record.
Knowing how many properties in an area might not be a DPA problem and be in the public interest, but knowing which properties those are and therefore to whom they belong may well be.
In the UK I believe you have to have a recognisable reason (and possibly be registered?) to be able to request a vehicle owner's details e.g. controlling local parking restrictions, so this isn't considered public information.