- 9 Mar 2021
Date received: 14 Jan 2021
Date responded: 5 Feb 2021
You asked "please issue the SU-ABS-002 & -003 hearing report to me, the other participants and the public, so that we can implement action of the planning condition that has been held up pending the issue of the report."
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.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, An exception under regulation 10(4)(d) of the EIR’s (unfinished or incomplete information) applies to the information you have requested. This is because the hearing report forms part of two current live cases, being Stopping Up Orders.
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. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in ensuring that information which is still 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
We have received the following update from Aberdeenshire Council:
“Alternative solutions to the Differential Accelerator Lane (DAL) which required Stopping Up Orders (SUOs) have been discussed between relevant parties. Discussions are at an advanced stage in consultation with Transport Scotland, however we are awaiting formal agreement of this before this can be accepted. This will require s.42 applications and/or a Minute of Agreement. Until such time as alternatives are formally agreed the Council cannot withdraw the SUOs, as that remains the only plan which has been formally agreed between the relevant parties. The Council is working to appropriate deadlines to resolve these agreements and should be in a position to move forward in the Spring.”
The Orders are therefore not being considered further by Scottish Ministers at this time. If you require any clarification of the above update from the Council, I suggest that you contact the Council directly as they may be able to assist you
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