- 21 May 2019
Date received: 17 Apr 2019
Date responded: 17 May 2019
1. Records of any visits made to your Callendar Road office in Falkirk by anyone of the following – Cala Homes, Homes for Scotland and Holder Planning covering the time period August 2017 to the present day.
2. Copies of any correspondence sent to any reporter in your organisation from Homes for Scotland or their legal representatives concerning planning policy and, particularly, shortfall housing land supply from August 2017 until the present day.
3. A copy of any internal guidance/policies that are issued to reporters covering independence, lobbying and conflict of interest or similar code of conduct.
4. Any correspondence from the above parties to reporter Stephen Hall in the time period from August 2017-present.
5. If reporter Stephen Hall has ever attended seminars or events hosted or organised by any of the above named parties.
6. Has reporter Stephen Hall ever visited the office of Cala Homes at Callendar Road, Falkirk between August 2017 and present.
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.
1. I can confirm that there have been no visits to our Callendar Road office in Falkirk by any of the following – Cala Homes, Homes for Scotland or Holder Planning in the time period from August 2017 until the present day.
2. I enclose a copy of the information you have requested.
3. An exception under regulation 10(4)(e) of the EIRs (internal communications) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is internal communication about reporter processes and procedures.
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 overturning the exception, because there is some public interest in the information requested.
As such I have attached all the information found within the remit of this part of your request.
4. I have carried out a search for correspondence within the remit you have specified. No documents were found, other than those held on the DPEA case file for the appeal PPA-250-2312.
The majority of the information you have requested is available from the DPEA website at http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?ID=119936.
Under regulation 6(1)(b) of EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.
There were three documents identified which fell within the remit of your request which had not been published to the DPEA website, and these are attached.
5. Mr Stephen Hall has not attended any seminars or events hosted by any of the parties listed since he joined DPEA in July 2013. Prior to July 2013, during his time working at the Planning and Architecture Division of the Scottish Government (PAD), he attended various meetings at which Homes for Scotland representatives were present. He was the policy lead for planning policy for housing for some of this time.
Mr Hall has searched his calendar and found:
20 March 2013 - A liaison meeting with Homes for Scotland at their offices.
16 January 2013 - A meeting held at Homes for Scotland’s office regarding
East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan.
6 September 2012 – a breakfast seminar on the Transition to a Low Carbon
Economy organised ‘in association with Homes for Scotland’, but hosted by
Dundas and Wilson.
9 August 2011 – A training event organised by PAD on planning for housing,
which Homes for Scotland attended.
14 March 2011 – A liaison meeting with Homes for Scotland at their offices.
6. The reporter Stephen Hall has never visited the office of Cala Homes at Callendar Road, Falkirk.
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