Publication - FOI/EIR release

M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project planned SUDS ponds: EIR release

Published: 21 Jan 2020

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

Published:
21 Jan 2020
M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project planned SUDS ponds: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02411
Date received: 6 Jan 2020
Date responded: 20 Jan 2020
Information requested

There were a number of SUDS ponds planned as part of the above project. I require information about these ponds. Specifically I would like information on.
1. How many of the SUDS ponds which were proposed have either been cancelled, relocated, scaled down, scaled up, or had any other significant change made to them.

The SUDS pond which was planned for south of the North Calder Water on the east side of the M73.
2. I require all information that was provided by the Scottish Roads Partnership (or any representative of) to Transport Scotland that was relevant to the decision to cancel the construction of said pond.

Following receipt of your clarification received on 6 January 2020, it was confirmed that your request refers to the SUDS ponds in the outline design for the project between 2007 and 2008.

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.

Please find a response to each of your questions below.
1. How many of the SUDS ponds which were proposed have either been cancelled, relocated, scaled down, scaled up, or had any other significant change made to them.
The development of the M8 M73 M74 Motorway Improvements Project, prior to tendering and awarding the contract, included an outline design at 2007 to 2008 of how the project could be delivered in accordance with relevant standards, including SUDS ponds as part of the road drainage. The design at this stage is not the final solution to delivering the performance requirements of the contract, that is provided by the final design.
The final design of the project is the responsibility of the contractor, Scottish Roads Partnership (SRP), who was awarded the contract in February 2014. SRP was not under an obligation to deliver the outline design at 2007 to 2008. While the SUDS ponds constructed by SRP do not align exactly with the solution included in the outline design, in number or geometric characteristics, SRP has confirmed its final drainage design meets the performance requirements of the contract, which include compliance with the requirements of the Environmental Statements in relation to the impact of such drainage design.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. Transport Scotland does not hold information comparing the SUDS ponds in the SRP final design and construction with the outline design at 2007 to 2008.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have.

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. While we recognise there may be some public interest in a comparison between the SUDS ponds in the final design and construction and the outline design at 2007 to 2008 clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

It may be helpful to inform you that SRP has confirmed that it has constructed 21 SUDS ponds, and 3 underground attenuation storage tanks (another form of SUDS facilities) as part of the road drainage network for the project.

The SUDS pond which was planned for south of the North Calder Water on the east side of the M73.
2. I require all information that was provided by the Scottish Roads Partnership (or any representative of) to Transport Scotland that was relevant to the decision to cancel the construction of said pond.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance Transport Scotland does not have the information you have requested. We do not hold this information as the SUDS pond referred to was not included in the contractor’s design for the road drainage for the project. SRP has confirmed that its design did not include a SUDS pond at this location and that its design is in accordance with relevant standards and the contract requirements, which include the requirements of the Environmental Statements for the project.
Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), Transport Scotland is not required to provide information which it does not have.

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. While we recognise there may be some public interest in information related to development of the design of the SUDS pond you have mentioned above, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

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Contact

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Email: ceu@gov.scot
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