Publication - FOI/EIR release

Energy consents unit meeting Scottish Environmental Protection Agency: EIR release

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

Published:
2 Aug 2018
Energy consents unit meeting Scottish Environmental Protection Agency: EIR release

FOI reference: FOI/18/01872
Date received: 5 July 2018
Date responded: 1 August 2018

Information requested

All documentation that you hold relating to the meeting on 30 April 2018 at the offices of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar between Scottish Government's energy consents unit, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Lewis Wind Power, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Scottish Government. Without prejudice to that generality, we request the minutes of the said meeting.

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 in the electronic format you asked for. Please find enclosed:

  • Note taken by Scottish Government Officials, Energy Consents Unit (ECU) at the meeting on 30 April 2018

  • Email dated 07 March 2018, Subject: Uisenis Wind Farm Pre-Scoping Meeting from Jo Cottin – LUC, subsequent chain of emails up to 21 March 2018

  • Email dated 29 March 2018, Subject: pre scoping meeting 2/5/2018 with consultees of the Muaitheabhal Windfarm from Morag Ferguson - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

  • Email dated 4 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Pre-Scoping Meeting from Jo Cottin – LUC

  • Email dated 3 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Pre-Scoping Meeting from Jo Cottin – LUC

  • Email dated 6 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Windfarms - pre scoping meeting from Andrea Dilley – SEPA

  • Email dated 10 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis Pre-Scoping Meeting Flights from Jo Cottin – LUC

  • Email dated 16 April 2018, Subject: RE: Uisenis and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals - pre scoping meeting from Susan Haslam – SEPA

  • Email Meeting Request dated 6 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals ‐ pre scoping meeting from Alan Brogan – ECU

  • Email dated 4 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Pre-Scoping Meeting from Jo Cottin – LUC, subsequent chain of emails up to 20 April 2018 enclosed proposed agenda

  • Email dated 23 April 2018, Subject: Lewis Wind Power - Draft Scoping Reports from Jo Cottin – LUC

  • Email dated 24 April 2018, Subject: Muaitheabhal and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals - pre scoping meeting - Agenda and link to draft scoping reports from Alan Brogan – ECU, enclosed agenda

  • Email dated 24 April 2018, Subject: RE: Lewis Wind Power - Draft Scoping Reports from Alan Brogan- ECU

  • Email 23 April 2018, Subject: Uisenis and Stornoway Wind Farm VC Details from Caitlin Grant – SEPA

  • Email 25 April 2018, Subject: RE: Uisenis and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals - pre scoping meeting from Alan Brogan – ECU, subsequent chain of emails up to 30 April 2018

  • Email 24 April 2018, Subject: Muaitheabhal and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals - pre scoping meeting - Agenda and link to draft scoping reports from Alan Brogan – Energy Consents

  • Email 1 May 2018, Subject: RE: Muaitheabhal and Stornoway Wind Farm proposals - pre scoping meeting - Agenda and link to draft scoping reports from Susan Haslam – SEPA (Planning Dingwall)

  • Copy of Draft Scoping Report Muaitheabhal Wind Farm

The Scoping Report Stornoway Wind Farm of the information you have requested is available from Energy Consents Unit website https://www.energyconsents.scot/Default.aspx ECU Reference: ECU00000646. 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. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

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 an exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the Draft Scoping Report Stornoway Wind Farm. The reasons why that exception applies are explained below.

Reasons for not providing information

An exception applies.

An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material in the course of completion.

The exception applies to Draft Scoping Report Stornoway Wind Farm.

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 has been met by the publication of the final Scoping Report Stornoway Wind Farm on 19 July 2018. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that draft report which is now superseded is not disclosed which might misinform the public and provide incomplete position on the matter to which the information relates.

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 Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG