Planning (Scotland) Bill meeting: EIR release

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

Information requested

Details of the meeting between Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, CBI Scotland, Homes for Scotland, and Scottish Renewables on 25 July 2019, including;

1. pre meeting briefing(s);

2. any speech or pre-prepared words;

3. agenda;

4. venue and list of attendees;

5. minutes or notes from meeting;

6. post meeting action points; 

7. cost of any dinner/lunch provided and who paid for it.


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 have attached the briefing provided to the Deputy First Minister dated 22 July 2019 which satisfies parts 1, 2, and 4 of your request. I also attach a note of the meeting dated 25 July 2019 which satisfies part 5 of your request.

After a search of our records I have established that the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested in relation to parts 3, 6, and 7 of your request. Therefore we are refusing these elements of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held).

The reason that we cannot provide information in relation to part 3 of your request is because there was no set agenda, as highlighted in the briefing and note of meeting. The reason that we cannot satisfy part 6 of your request is because there were no specific action points as a consequence of the meeting.

Finally, the reason we are unable to satisfy part 7 of your request is because there was no record of what, if anything, was provided in terms of lunch/dinner. While this exception is subject to the public interest test, we clearly cannot provide information we do not hold.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100228792 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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