- 12 Sep 2017
FOI reference: FOI/17/01983
Date received: 22 August 2017
Date responded: 7 September 2017
You asked for detail of the number of custom built wildlife corridors which have been constructed, in Scotland, as habitat reduction mitigation, in cases of the building of new roads, road widening schemes, new housing developments, industrial expansion and retail developments. You also requested details of the locations of such wildlife corridors. This information was requested for the period since the inception of the devolved Scottish Government.
In responding to your request, we have interpreted "custom built wildlife corridors" as green bridges constructed to maintain connectivity between habitats.
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.
This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.
I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.
In relation to road schemes on the trunk road network green bridge structures are incorporated within the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmeddie to Tipperty project which is currently under construction. Details and locations of all wildlife mitigation measures being put in place by the AWPR/B-T project are included in the Environmental Statement. This documentation can be accessed at the following link: Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route
Information on the trunk road network can be accessed at the following link:Tunk Road Network
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Therefore we are partially refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
The Scottish Government does not have the information.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because it relates to aspects which are primarily a local planning matter and, as such, rest with the planning authorities.
This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about custom built wildlife corridors which have been constructed in Scotland as habitat reduction mitigation, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House