1. What permission was granted for alteration of the public road from the A1 past Thurston Manor Leisure Park, Thurston Mains Farm to Aikengall for access to the wind farm?
2. What obligations do Community Windpower, East Lothian Council and/or the Scottish Government have to return this road (and the associated verges, hedges, etc.) to its original state after wind farm construction has ended?
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.
To answer your question one, Aikengall IIa Wind Farm was granted section 36 consent as varied on 07 November 2019 which includes access to the wind farm site from the A1. The decision notice can be found on the energy consents unit website at Scottish Government - Energy Consents Unit - Application Details. The deemed planning permission has conditions attached (numbers 18, 19, 20) which required the developer to submit details of any road alterations that are required. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in response to question two, the Scottish Government does not have the required information you have requested. The condition 18 of the deemed planning permission requires a detailed dilapidation condition survey of the public road undertaken for the route from the A1 and that damage during the period of construction is required to be repaired by the developer. The requirement to satisfy these conditions is the responsibility of the local Planning Authority, in this case, East Lothian Council.
You may wish to contact East Lothian Council who may be able to help 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
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