Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence with Peel Ports: EIR release

Published: 13 May 2020

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

Published:
13 May 2020
Correspondence with Peel Ports: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202000017765
Date received: 13 Jan 2020
Date responded: 5 May 2020
Information requested

All correspondence between the Scottish Government and Peel Ports regarding:
a)         The Hunterston PARC site in North Ayrshire, and/or
b)         Liquid Natural Gas import or storage
and requesting dates, minutes, and a summary of the issue discussed of any meetings involving the Scottish Government and Peel Ports at which these topics were discussed.

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 enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

Some of the information you have requested can be found online, with links provided below. Under Regulation 6(1)(b) – Information otherwise accessible, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. 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.

Planning application documents for Hunterston Construction Yard:

Marine Scotland information: Hunterston Marine Construction Yard Redevelopment

Peel Ports Information

Please see Annex A for further exceptions within this documentation. 

ANNEX A
REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
Regulation 11(2) – Personal data relating to a third party
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

Regulation 10(5)(e) – Confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
This exception applies to some of the information you have requested. This exception applies because disclosure of this particular information would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the confidentiality of commercial information provided by Peel Ports and thus cause substantial harm to their commercial interests. Disclosure would reveal to competitors confidential details, including details of Peel Port’s ongoing commercial interests and price breakdowns from suppliers.

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. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open and transparent government, and to help account for the expenditure of public money. However, there is greater public interest in protecting the ongoing commercial interests of organisations by withholding the information concerned from their competitors. It is important to maintain and support the proper and efficient operation of free markets, which is of serious concern and benefit to the public.

Due to the size of the files we are unable to upload the documents referred to above.
If you wish to consider, please contact us at the address below and we will be happy to provide. 

About FOI

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.

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