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Publication - FOI / EIR Release

Ulva community buyout owners views: EIR release

Published: 20 Nov 2017

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

FOI reference: FOI/17/02547
Date received: 26 October 2017
Date responded: 16 November 2017

Information requested

  • 'I would like to see the owner's views on the initial application that was withdrawn and his views on the second application, which was subject to the Scottish Ministers decision, as well please.'

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 enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because of an exception under regulation 10(5)(f) – substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception(s) applies are explained below.

Some of the information you have requested is publically available e.g. Amazon. 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. Duplicate documents within the scope of this request have also not been provided.

Reasons for not providing information

Regulation 10(5)(f) – substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information

An exception under regulation 10(5)(f) of the EIRs (substantial prejudice to interests of person who provided the information) applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the interests of the Executors of the late Mrs J M Howard who provided that information to the Scottish Government. They:

  • were not under any legal obligation to give us that information;

  • did not supply it in circumstances in which it could, apart from the EIRs, be made available; and

  • have not consented to disclosure.

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government. However, there is a greater public interest in protecting the interests of anyone who provides the Scottish Government with information on a confidential basis. Disclosing such information against the express wishes of the stakeholder is likely to undermine their trust in the Government and make them reluctant in future to share information with us on issues, such as submitting full and frank responses to Scottish Ministers. This would significantly impair the Scottish Government's ability to develop policies and make decisions on the basis of fully informed advice and evidence. This would not be in the public interest.

Some of the information you have requested is publically available e.g. Amazon. 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

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

FOI-17-02547 - maps.pdf

6 page PDF
2.7MB

FOI-17-02547 minutes of housing summit.pdf

37 page PDF
2.5MB

FOI-17-02547 - tourism report.pdf

48 page PDF
1.2MB

FOI-17-0257 - Ulva Meeting with Bell Ingram.pdf

2 page PDF
400.4kB

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:
20 Nov 2017
Ulva community buyout owners views: EIR release