Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions regarding advertising on or near the A96: EIR release

Published: 20 Feb 2019

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

Published:
20 Feb 2019
Questions regarding advertising on or near the A96: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00241
Date received: 23 Jan 2019
Date responded: 19 Feb 2019
Information requested

 

I would like to request, under the relevant freedom of information legislation, the following information relating to the A96 and broken down by five-year period

1. The number of private commercial advertising signs that are
a) sited on private land alongside and visible from the A96 and which have received advertising consent?
b) sited on private land alongside and visible from the A96 which have been refused advertising consent?
c) signs sited on private land alongside and visible from the A96 without advertising consent for which there have been complaints made and which Moray Council have enforced removal of the sign(s)?
d) sited on private land alongside and visible from the A96 without advertising consent for which there have been complaints made and which Moray Council has not enforced removal of the sign(s)?
e) sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road and which have received advertising consent?
f) sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road and which have been refused advertising consent?
g) signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road without advertising consent for which there have been complaints made and which Moray Council have enforced removal of the sign(s)?
h) sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road without advertising consent for which there have been complaints made and which Moray Council has not enforced removal of the sign(s)?


2. The number of private commercial advertising signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road which are for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002?


3. The number of private commercial advertising signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road which are for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002?


4. The total cost incurred by individuals and/or businesses for having a private commercial advertising sign(s) sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002?


5. The number of private commercial advertising signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road which are for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, which have received advertising consent?


6. The number of private commercial advertising signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road which are for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, which have received been refused advertising consent?

 

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 have numbered our response for ease of reference; 

1a / b. Annex A  is a list of planning applications consulted by the local authority since commencement of the operating company contract. This annex also highlights the decision of those planning applications. Please note that this annex only covers locations where the local authority has contacted Transport Scotland as part of the statutory planning consultation process. We are unable to confirm if each of these signs were erected by the applicant or the number of signs erected prior to the commencement of the current operating company contract in 2014.

 

1c / d. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.  Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.  The reason why that exception applies is Transport Scotland does not hold this information.

 

Acting on behalf of Scottish Ministers in their capacity as trunk roads authority, Transport Scotland is a statutory consultee in the planning process. This means that, under the requirements set out in Regulation 25 and Schedule 5 of The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2013, planning authorities must consult Transport Scotland before granting planning permission for developments, including advertising signs, which are likely to have an impact on the trunk road network.

 

However, while Transport Scotland makes recommendations on planning applications, the power to determine applications lies solely with the planning authority. Therefore Moray Council as the Planning Authority hold all the information relating to the planning determinations you seek and should be contacted to provide this.

 

1e / f. Transport Scotland’s policy is that advertising signage is not permitted within the trunk road boundary.

 

1g / h. As far as we are aware, there has been no signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road without advertising consent for which there have been complaints made and which Moray Council have enforced removal of the sign(s).  Trunk Road Operating Companies are responsible for the removal of unauthorised signs within the trunk road boundary. As such, 93 signs have been removed since August 2014.

 

2 / 5 / 6. There are 57 brown tourist signs on the A96 trunk road which were all granted permission by Transport Scotland. Transport Scotland’s policy is that advertising signage is not permitted within the trunk road boundary. There has been no private commercial advertising signs sited on land which is part of the A96 trunk road which are for providing directions to tourist destinations as defined by The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, which have received been refused advertising consent.

 

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, under the exception at regulation 10(4)(b) of the EIRs a public authority may refuse a request for information if it is ‘manifestly unreasonable’.  This request is identical to question 2.

 

4. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested.  Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.  The reason why that exception applies is applicants are liable for all associated costs.

 

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foi-19-00241 Annex A

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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