Date received: 15 November 2018
Date responded: 14 December 2018
You asked for:
- I wonder if Marine Scotland could recall the advice provided at this time to North Ayrshire Council regarding the need for an EIA of this project.
- Did Marine Scotland consider that this was an EIA application?
- Could Marine Scotland provide any meeting minutes or written documentation they provided or were circulated to them at this time.
- Does Marine Scotland recall the advice provided by any of the other agencies at this time?
- Can Marine Scotland recall how the meeting was concluded.
- Does Marine Scotland have any follow up communications with either North Ayrshire Council or any of the other agencies after the meeting regarding the need for an EIA of this project.
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 most of the information you requested.
The answer to your questions are:
- The “Screening Opinion Meeting” referred to in your request was a meeting in February 2017. This meeting concluded that a screening opinion should be sought by Peel Ports. Marine Scotland were not consulted by North Ayrshire Council for the screening under The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2011.
- The screening opinion adopted by Marine Scotland is attached (see document 010 b).
- No meeting minutes were provided by, or to, Marine Scotland following the meeting in February 2017. Written documentation circulated at this time is provided in the attached documents.
- Advice provided to Marine Scotland following the meeting in February 2017 is included in the attached documents.
- The meeting in February 2017 concluded that a screening opinion should be sought by Peel Ports.
- Communications following the meeting in February 2017 are attached.
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 11(2) (personal information of a third party) of the EIRs applies to that information. The reasons why that exception(s) applies are explained below.
Reasons for not providing information
Regulation 11(2) – personal information of a third party
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party 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 the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.
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
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