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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

AWPR & Balmedie to Tipperty compensation information: EIR release

Published: 6 Dec 2017

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02490
Date received: 23 October 2017
Date responded: 29 November 2017

Information requested

AWPR – Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route

Could you provide the following information please for both the AWPR project and the A96 Dualling Balmedie to Tipperty Project please?

  1. How many landowners are eligible for AWPR compensation?
  2. How many claims have been made to date?
  3. What is the total value of those claims?
  4. How many have been settled or sums agreed?
  5. How many have been rejected?
  6. What is the total sum of compensation agreed so far?
  7. What is the cost of processing the claims?
  8. What is the total budgeted amount for the compensation scheme (including administration fees)?

Response

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 have laid out our response under headings related to number assigned to the points you have raised as shown above:

Point 1: Please find below links to each of the Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the Balmedie to Tipperty Scheme each of which lists the relevant Landowners who were subject to a CPO:

CPO Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route

CPO Balmedie to Tipperty Trunk Road

Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Point 2: To the 23 October 2017 we had received 241 claims from Landowners who were the subject of a CPO. 209 have been in relation to the AWPR and 32 in relation to Balmedie to Tipperty.

Point 3: 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 is does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested as we do not hold figures for the amount of land compensation claimed. The majority of the claims received from land agents do not contain a figure of how much is claimed as this is something they discuss with the District Valuer appointed to review their claim.

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 the amount of land compensation claims we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Point 4: To the 23 October 2017, 42 claims (36 AWPR & 6 Balmedie to Tipperty) have been paid on a full and final basis as is normal for such an infrastructure project. Transport Scotland cannot consider a claim until one has been made by the landowner or their agent and a full and final settlement can only be reached once the landowner or their agents indicate that they wish to conclude matters. Normally the vast majority of cases are not settled until construction work has been completed and the impact of the project can be better quantified.

In addition Scottish Ministers acquired 20 other land interests in relation to the AWPR on a voluntary basis which were not subject to CPO.

We have also made 364 advanced payments to landowners affected by the CPO's (332 AWPR & 32 Balmedie to Tipperty).

Point 5: Transport Scotland has not rejected any claims made by a Land Owner who had land acquired as a result of a CPO. All of the claims received have been passed to the Valuation Office Agency for assessment.

Point 6: The amount of spend on the purchase of land required for the projects, including voluntary acquisitions, to the date of your request is £102.5m (£99.6m AWPR & £2.9m Balmedie to Tipperty). This figure includes payments which have been made in full and final and advanced payments of compensation. These figures include the total compensation package paid at each stage including Land Agent Fees, Legal Fees, District Valuer's Fees and VAT where applicable.

Point 7: 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 is does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested as we do not hold figures for the cost of administering a land compensation claim. The staff cost associated with administering a Compulsory Purchase Order are not recorded separately from other administration duties.

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 the cost of administering land compensation claims we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Point 8: The estimated total compensation including the amounts already paid is £135.9m (£127.7m AWPR & £8.2m Balmedie to Tipperty).

About FOI

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

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published:
6 Dec 2017
AWPR & Balmedie to Tipperty compensation information: EIR release