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Information regarding the Menie Estate Planning Application by Trump International Golf Links, Scotland.

Information Released in Response to an FOI Request

Title Information regarding the Menie Estate Planning Application by Trump International Golf Links, Scotland.
Description Information regarding the Menie Estate Planning Application by Trump International Golf Links, Scotland.
Publication Date March 18, 2008
Charge Free.

The Scottish Government is today releasing information in response to 24 Freedom of Information requests relating to the handling of a planning application at the Menie Estate by Trump International Golf Links.

In line with our commitment to open government and Freedom of Information, the information is as comprehensive and helpful as possible while also respecting the need, set out in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), to protect private space for Ministers and others to consider advice and reach decisions. Where we have applied an exemption under FOISA we have done so reasonably and responsibly.

The information being released in response to the FoI requests should be considered alongside the substantial amount of information which has already been put into the public domain through evidence given to the Local Government & Communities Committee's inquiry, through the significant number of Parliamentary Questions we have answered on the Menie Estate application, and in our responses to several hundred letters and e-mails on the matter.

The information released shows that Ministers in this government are fully aware of their responsibilities in relation to planning and have discharged these responsibilities fairly and responsibly having regard to the Ministerial Code. The documents also show that Alex Salmond was not party to the decision to call in the application, and that documentation relating to the call-in decision specifically excludes the First Minister. The documents also show that civil servants involved in the handling of the case have fully met the standards of propriety expected of them as per the Civil Service Code.

Scope of Freedom of Information requests:

The 24 Freedom of Information requests were received by the Scottish Government between 5 and 19 December 2007. The information published today, accessible via the link below, relates to information held by the Scottish Government within the terms of those requests up to the latter date (i.e. 19 December 2007).

We have considered the terms of the requests to be seeking information relative to the Scottish Government's handling of the call-in of the planning application for the Menie Estate along with the actions of Ministers and officials, rather than including information on Aberdeenshire Council's normal processing of the application. Therefore, we have considered information on the application processes, such as consultation responses, to be outwith the scope of the requests. The information published also includes documentation relating to communications between the Scottish Executive and the Trump Organisation prior to the Scottish Parliament election in May 2007, which has been the specific subject of one of the 24 Freedom of Information requests.

In addition, we have considered e-mails and other documentation relating solely to the internal process of preparing answers to the many Parliamentary Questions and other correspondence to be outwith the scope of the requests.