Publication - FOI/EIR Release

Compensation for Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and Balmedie to Tipperty: EIR release

Published: 14 Mar 2019

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

Published:
14 Mar 2019
Compensation for Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and Balmedie to Tipperty: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/00335
Date received: 1 Feb 2019
Date responded: 8 Mar 2019
Information requested

 

Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) you have asked for the following:

1. How many landowners are eligible for AWPR compensation? And also for Balmedie to Tipperty?
2. How many claims have been made to date for each scheme respectively?
3. How many claims have been lodged in the Lands Tribunal and received by Transport Scotland in respect of the AWPR?
4. What is the total value of those claims on the AWPR received prior to the deadline? And what is the total value of claims in Balmedie to Tipperty?
5. How many claims have been settled and sums agreed on full and final basis for each scheme respectively?
6. How many claims have been rejected?
7. What is the actual total sum of compensation agreed so far?
8. What was the total sum of compensation for acquisition of properties prior to the CPO being issued on the AWPR including those under Rule 5 equivalent reinstatement?
9. What is the cost of processing the claims?
10. What is the total future budgeted amount for the compensation scheme (including administration fees?
11. Has any budget been set aside for Part 1 claims to follow in the future?”

 

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 indealing 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 laid out our response under headings related to number assigned to the points you have raised as shown above:

Point 1: Please find below links to each of the Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the Balmedie to Tipperty scheme each of which lists the relevant Landowners who were subject to a CPO:

https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/aberdeen-western-peripheral-route-road-orders/

https://www.transport.gov.scot/publication/balmedie-to-tipperty-trunk-road-orders/

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 websites listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

Point 2: To the 05 February 2019 we had received 241 claims from Landowners who were the subject of a CPO. 209 are in relation to the AWPR and 32 in relation to Balmedie to Tipperty.


Point 3: We have received 98 applications from the Lands Tribunal for Scotland in relation to the AWPR. 92 of the applicants have requested that their application be immediately sisted pending further negotiations.


Point 4: Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which is does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested as we do not hold the total figures for the amount of land compensation claimed across the schemes. The majority of the claims received from land agents do not contain a figure of how much is claimed as this is something they discuss with the District Valuer appointed to review their claim.
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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the amount of land compensation claims we cannot provide information which we do not hold.


Point 5: To the 05 February 2019, 69 claims (57 on AWPR & 12 on Balmedie to Tipperty) have been paid on a full and final basis as is normal for such an infrastructure project. Transport Scotland cannot consider a claim until one has been made by the landowner or their agent and a full and final settlement can only be reached once the landowner or their agents indicate that they wish to conclude matters.

We have also made advance payments on the remaining 172 claims for landowners affected by the CPO’s (152 on AWPR & 20 on Balmedie to Tipperty).

In addition Scottish Ministers acquired 20 other land interests in relation to the AWPR on a voluntary basis which were not subject to CPO.

Point 6: Transport Scotland has not rejected any claims made by a Land Owner who had land acquired as a result of a CPO. All of the claims received have been passed to the Valuation Office Agency for assessment.

Point 7: The amount of spend on the purchase of land required for the projects, including voluntary acquisitions, to the date of your request is £106.2m (£102.9m on AWPR & £3.3m on Balmedie to Tipperty). This includes payments which have been made in full and final and advanced payments of compensation. These figures include the total compensation package paid at each stage including Land Agent Fees, Legal Fees, District Valuer’s Fees and VAT where applicable.

Point 8: £83.4m compensation has been paid on the voluntary acquisition of land interests in relation to the AWPR. This figure includes properties which were compensated under a Rule 5 equivalent reinstatement.

Point 9: Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which is does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested as we do not hold figures for the cost of administering a land compensation claim. The staff cost associated with administering a Compulsory Purchase Order are not recorded separately from other administration duties.

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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the cost of administering land compensation claims we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

Point 10: The estimated total compensation including the amounts already paid is £135.9m (£127.7m on AWPR & £8.2m on Balmedie to Tipperty).

Point 11: The estimated compensation for Part 1 claims is £8.87 million (£8.6m for the AWPR and £270,000 for Balmedie to Tipperty).

 

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