- 21 Jun 2018
FOI reference: FOI/18/01604
Date received: 3 June 2018
Date responded: 18 June 2018
The exact number of applications for wind farms which have been adjudicated upon by the Energy Consents Unit since December 2005. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes ALL applications where the ECU adjudicated upon a planning application(s) for Industrial wind turbines;
The current status on any application for consent for Hopsrig wind farm and whether this is a 'live' application;
Current status on any variation of consent for the Stranoch wind farm, i.e. to include larger turbines at the site;
Confirmation that the current procedures used by the ECU conform to article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
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.
The answer to your question is :
1. Since January 2005, the Scottish Ministers have determined 90 applications for consent, which were processed by the Energy Consents Unit, for wind farm generating stations onshore.
2. The Scottish Government does not hold an application in respect of Hopsrig Wind Farm. You may wish to contact Dumfries and Galloway Council planning department who appear to be dealing with an application for planning permission in respect of this project.
3. There is no current application under Section 36C of the Electricity Act to vary the consent which exists for the Stranoch Wind Farm. Scottish Ministers issued a scoping opinion in March 2018 in respect of the proposal by the EDF ER Ltd to apply for a new Section 36 consent in respect of Stranoch Wind Farm. The scoping opinion is available to view at www.energyconsents.scot by searching 'Stranoch 2'. It is currently expected by the Unit that a new application will be submitted in Summer/Autumn 2018.
4. The Scottish Government does not hold any information in this regard. The Energy Consents Unit is not involved in the determination of civil rights or obligations or of criminal charges against any person. Energy Consents Unit procedures are concerned with the processing of infrastructure and land rights applications under national legislation.
You may find it helpful to note that human rights is a subject devolved to Scotland by the Scotland Act 1998. The Scottish Parliament also has competence to observe and implement international human rights treaties. We work within that legal framework. Further information on the Scottish Government's policy is available: https://beta.gov.scot/policies/human-rights/
In relation to points 2, 3 and 4 of your request, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) (information not held) that the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested.
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
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House