- 21 May 2019
Date received: 15 Apr 2019
Date responded: 13 May 2019
1. Of the 36,247 applications made to Planning Authorities in the period 2016 - 2017, how many of those applications were for major housing developments?
2. How many of that number were refused by the Planning Authority?
3. How many of these refusals were appealed by the applicant?
4. How many of these appeals were referred to the Scottish Reporter?
5. How many of these appeals were referred to the Planning Authority review body?
6. How many of these appeals were called in by the Scottish Government minister?
7. How many of the referrals were upheld?
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.
Queries Nos 1, 2, 3 and 5:
While our aim is to provide information wherever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs.
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 it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because this information is not collated centrally by the government, but instead is held by each individual planning authority.
This exception is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of the circumstances of the 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 number of major development planning applications submitted to each planning authority, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold. You may wish to contact the individual planning authorities directly for copies of this information.
Queries Nos 4, 6 and 7:
4. Of the major housing applications made in the period April 2016 to March 2017 that were refused by the planning authority, 20 have been appealed to DPEA.
6. None of those 20 appeals were recalled for determination by Scottish Ministers.
7. The table below details the number of appeals which were upheld.
Appeals to be decided
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 Andrews House