It has come to my attention that a land bridge has been developed between the Islands of Torsa (or more precisely Torsa Beag) and Luing in Argyl and Bute. Previously this land dried at low tide forming a causeway but was navigable by small craft at high water. It is an area with significant wildlife. The construction appears to be man made. The work appears to have been undertaken in recent weeks or months.
Please provide details of any consultation that your department had with the developer (I believe likely to be the owner of Torsa, but I don’t wish to restrict my EISR request to such), or with other stakeholders such as Argyll and Bute Council prior to such construction work. I would also expect this to include details of any informal advice about whether planning, consultation or other consents would be required.
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 it does not have. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because we have not had any consultation with either the developer or with any other stakeholders such as Argyll and Bute Council prior to such construction work.
We can confirm that Marine Scotland has not received an application or granted a marine licence for the construction of the causeway. Marine Scotland officials have now been made aware of the matter and will be looking into this further.
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 any consultation that Marine Scotland has had with the developer or with other stakeholders prior to such construction work, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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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