Publication - FOI/EIR release

A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Scheme: EIR release

Published: 25 Jun 2020

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

Published:
25 Jun 2020
A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen Scheme: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000037915
Date received: 18 May 2020
Date responded: 16 Jun 2020
Information requested

“I would be grateful if you could confirm which flood/hydrological models, datasets and analyses are being used in the DMRB Stage 2 Assessment for the A96 Dualling Project, specifically the River Don crossing east of Kintore on the violet route option of the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section. In addition, please confirm the source and creation date (month and year) of these flood modelling datasets.”

Response

As all of 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.

Please find below a response to requests for information you made in your email.
“I would be grateful if you could confirm which flood/hydrological models, datasets ….. are being used in the DMRB Stage 2 Assessment for the A96 Dualling Project, specifically the River Don crossing east of Kintore on the violet route option of the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section. In addition, please confirm the source and creation date (month and year) of these flood modelling datasets.”

The model being used for the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen DMRB Stage 2 Assessment is the Rivers Don/Urie model developed for the Inverurie Flood Protection Scheme. This was developed for Aberdeenshire Council by JBA consulting and was provided to our Consultant, AmeyArup Joint Venture, by Aberdeenshire Council in an “as it stands” state, in March 2019. For further information on the flood model please contact Aberdeenshire Council.

“I would be grateful if you could confirm which flood/hydrological ……… analyses are being used in the DMRB Stage 2 Assessment for the A96 Dualling Project, specifically the River Don crossing east of Kintore on the violet route option of the East of Huntly to Aberdeen section.”
At this juncture of the A96 Dualling East of Huntly to Aberdeen DMRB Stage 2 route options assessment, the analysis work is ongoing, therefore with regards to your request for the analyses being used in the DMRB Stage 2 Assessment for the A96 Dualling Project, specifically the River Don crossing east of Kintore on the violet route option, an exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion.

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 some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and this will be met by the release of the DMRB Stage 2 Scheme Assessment Report which we expect to publish later in 2020. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that unfinished or incomplete information which is still being worked on is not disclosed when it might misinform the public.

Further explanation
The Aberdeenshire Council Rivers Don/Urie model developed for the Inverurie Flood Protection Scheme (FPS) is being used as a baseline model by AmeyArup. It is recognised that the scheme traverses areas which are known to experience flooding and are identified by SEPA as being subject to flood risk. A key element of the design and assessment of each option is to ensure that existing flooding patterns are not made worse by the scheme. Following the identification of a preferred option, the model provided by Aberdeenshire Council will be refined during DMRB Stage 3 to assist in the detailed assessment and design of the preferred option.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

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