- 17 Sep 2020
Date received: 30 Jul 2020
Date responded: 24 Aug 2020
Information confirming the current status of each of the Forest Land Management Plans (FLMPs), including:
- Which FLMPs are being consulted upon by each of the agencies at present;
- Where consultation is ongoing, what stage they have reached in the administrative procedure and applicable timescales for any further comments; and
- Confirmation of the FMLPs which have concluded and where the final documents may be reliably accessed (as above, the FLS website includes some plans duplicated under both “ongoing” and “active” tabs).
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.
We have set out answers to the questions below. For completeness we have described the role of Scottish Forestry and how we interact with Forestry and Land Scotland.
Scottish Forestry is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, directly accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. We provide policy input on forestry matters to Scottish Ministers. Scottish Forestry also has specific regulatory functions related to the management of forests across Scotland, including the planting and felling of trees, and measures related to tree health. More can be found here: https://forestry.gov.scot/about/reports-andplans/corporate-planning
Forest and Land Management Plans are a mechanism used by Forestry and Land Scotland (a separate executive agency) to plan and manage the forests and land that they manage on behalf of Scottish Ministers. Scottish Forestry are consulted on, review and approve the FLMPs.
Taking your questions in turn.
Q. Which FLMPs are being consulted upon by each of the agencies at present?
A. Forest and Land Management Plans (FLMP) currently under the formal consultation stage, undertaken by Scottish Forestry prior to approval, can be found on the Public Register of Legacy Grant Schemes and Forest Plans (https://forestry.gov.scot/publicregisterlegacy).
Forestry and Land Scotland have their own consultation website:
(https://forestryandland.gov.scot/what-we do/planning/consultations) that they use to engage early with stakeholders on the development of the Land Management Plans, prior to submission to Scottish Forestry for review and approval.
Q. Where consultation is ongoing, what stage they have reached in the administrative procedure and applicable timescales for any further comments?
A. Scottish Forestry puts Forest and Land Management Plans on the Public Register for 28 days. The due date on the Public Register states when the consultation closes. There is also a status against each case, the status can display ‘FPR’, which means that the LMP is out to consultation, or ‘CNT’ which is a notification displayed for 28 days and indicates that approval has been given and that this case is no longer open for consultation.
Q. Confirmation of the FMLPs which have concluded and where the final documents may be reliably accessed (as above, the FLS website includes some plans duplicated under both “ongoing” and “active” tabs)?
A. Scottish Forestry keeps an approved copy of the FLMP in the relevant Conservancy office, as a hard copy or electronically. These are retained for at least 10 years and members of the public can request to see them. A list of our Conservancies and their contact details can be found here: https://forestry.gov.scot/about/local-offices
Access to offices may be restricted at the current time and subject to Covid 19 guidelines.
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