- 10 Nov 2021
Date received: 13 Aug 2021
Date responded: 27 Oct 2021
“I am told that there are 63 outstanding applications to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland in relation to the AWPR which are sisted pending further negotiations.
1a. I am trying to find out what the quantum of the claims in relation to these 63 outstanding applications is.
1b. I am also trying to find out how many of the 63 are linked to the test case won by the SRUC here... CSIH 32 XA22/20 2021csih32.pdf (scotcourts.gov.uk)
1c. What is the total quantum of the claims in relation to 1b?
With specific reference to whole Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and all of the land affected by this whole project.
2a. I wish to know how many of the landowners of all of the land affected by the above project have applied for a Land Tribunal to date?
2b. How many of these cases have been sisted so far?
Further I am seeking:
1. The total number of Compulsory Purchase Order claims made to date.
2. Total estimated budget for the CPOs.
3. Number of CPO claims settled to date (whether fully or partially).
4. Total value of the CPO claims settled to date (fully and partially).
5. Number of properties demolished in the construction of the AWPR.”
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because an exception(s) under regulation(s) 11(2) of the EIRs applies to that information.
Some of 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.
Please find below a response to requests for information you made in your email.
In regards to your first points 1a, b, c while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we do not hold the information you have requested. Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which is does not have.
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. While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about the quantum of cases at the Lands Tribunal for Scotland we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
Owners of land purchased for the AWPR/Balmedie to Tipperty will receive fair compensation, independently assessed by the District Valuer. As for any of our major road projects, anyone claiming compensation has the right to take their case to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland if they disagree with the compensation offered.
The majority of claims received from land agents do not contain a figure of how much is claimed or any other detail surrounding the claim. The claims were predominantly lodged on a protective basis in advance of the 6 year time bar to appeal to the Lands Tribunal for Scotland as the impact of the works could not be properly assessed at that time. All claims are subject to continued negotiation and will be assessed and considered on a case by case basis on their own individual circumstances to ensure a fair compensation figure is agreed in accordance with the compensation code.
In regards to your second point 2a, b I can confirm that there are currently 64 claims lodged at the Lands Tribunal for Scotland and 63 of these are currently sisted.
In regards to the further information you requested;
1. We have received 264 claims to the date of your request.
2. The estimated total land compensation cost for land acquired in relation to the AWPR/Balmedie to Tipperty scheme, including total value of claims settled fully and partially, is £135.7m and we remain on target to meet outstanding compensation claims within that estimate. This estimate includes land compensation, Agent Fees, Legal Fees, District Valuer’s Fees and VAT where applicable.
3. Total number of claims settled on a full and final basis is 186. Additionally we have made advance payments on a further 75 claims.
4. Total compensation paid for land acquisition to the date of your request is £117.1m.
5. 17 properties were demolished as part of the AWPR.
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