Publication - FOI/EIR release

Discussions regarding the planning permission for Granton harbour: EIR Review

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

Published:
8 Jul 2020
Discussions regarding the planning permission for Granton harbour: EIR Review
FOI reference: FOI/202000047256
Date received: 3 Jun 2020
Date responded: 25 Jun 2020
Information requested

“All documents, notes, notes of discussions, diary entries, minutes and emails whether held electronically or otherwise in respect of any discussions between the Scottish Ministers and City of Edinburgh Council between July 1st 2019 and 30th April 2020 in respect of the agreement of the Scottish Ministers not to defend the Appeal to the Court of Session by City of Edinburgh Council of the decision of Mr Andrew Fleming, a reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers dated 31 July 2019 allowing an appeal by GCDL (PPE-230-2253) granting planning permission for development without compliance with the conditions 1a and 1b imposed in the granting planning permission 01/00802/OUT dated 23rd June 2003 for mixed use development on land at Granton Harbour, West Harbour Road, Edinburgh (planning application reference 18/01428/PPP) and to provide consent to the Reporter’s decision being quashed (Court reference XA105/19).”

Response

I can confirm that I have now completed my review of our response to your request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) for:

“All documents, notes, notes of discussions, diary entries, minutes and emails whether held electronically or otherwise in respect of any discussions between the Scottish Ministers and City of Edinburgh Council between July 1st 2019 and 30th April 2020 in respect of the agreement of the Scottish Ministers not to defend the Appeal to the Court of Session by City of Edinburgh Council of the decision of Mr Andrew Fleming, a reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers dated 31 July 2019 allowing an appeal by GCDL (PPE-230-2253) granting planning permission for development without compliance with the conditions 1a and 1b imposed in the granting planning permission 01/00802/OUT dated 23rd June 2003 for mixed use development on land at Granton Harbour, West Harbour Road, Edinburgh (planning application reference 18/01428/PPP) and to provide consent to the Reporter’s decision being quashed (Court reference XA105/19).”
Your e-mail of 3 June provided further clarity in relation to the information you were seeking, for which I was grateful. That email explained that you were not requesting information which would fall within legal professional privilege but only information in respect of any discussions between Scottish Ministers and City of Edinburgh Council.

No information could be held nor is held in relation to an agreement not to defend the decision of the Reporter in the period prior to 31 July 2019 when his decision was issued.

After issue of that decision, no information is held in relation to direct communication between DPEA (as part of the SG) and City of Edinburgh Council on the subject matter of your request.
Communications between the SG and the council were between respective legal agents or – potentially – between respective Counsel instructed by those parties.

No information is held in respect of the latter. In respect of the former, I have reviewed those communications between respective legal agents and have concluded that a different decision should be substituted. I have therefore enclosed all of the information that falls under your original request and as clarified in your e-mail of 3 June.

Please note that some of the information contained within the documents provided has been redacted.

In some instances this is because it is outwith the scope of your request and in others as some of the information falls within the exception at Regulation 11(2) of the EIR’s (personal information), as that information is personal data and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. 

This exception is not subject to the public interest test, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing this information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

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 Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG