- 2 Sep 2020
Date received: 21 Jul 2020
Date responded: 7 Aug 2020
A copy of the letter that was issued to all planning authorities requesting information relating to peat extraction sites and copies of responses.
An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIRs (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to some of the information you have requested because it is material which is still in the course of completion. I have included the letter that was issued to planning authorities in March 2020. However, in terms of the responses from planning authorities, this is being withheld as not all responses have yet been received. This is because the survey has been delayed by Covid19 with some planning authorities yet to respond. Certain planning authorities have had to take frontline planning staff of planning duties to undertake Covid19 related work. In addition access to planning authorities buildings has been restricted and staff have been unable to access physical planning related documents.
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 some public interest in release as part of open, transparent and accountable government and this will be met by our planned publication in due course. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that incomplete information which is still in being worked on or is under active consideration is not disclosed when it might misinform the public or give a misleading impression of the Government’s view or position on the matter to which the information relates.
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