Cladding at Glasgow Harbour Terraces: EIR release

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


Information requested

1. Can someone with the Scottish Government/civil service advise on what is being done to sort this situation?
2. Am I going to be hit with a substantial bill?
3. When will the flat be safe?
4. When will a third party be able to buy it without having to be a cash buyer (I understand it is not currently possible to get a mortgage on the property)?
5. All information held by the Scottish Government in relation to fire safety considerations within the Glasgow Harbour Estate.

Response

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.

1. The Cladding Remediation Unit can be contacted on BuildingAssessments@gov.scot and they are the main point of contact for information on buildings with cladding.

The Single Building Assessment programme is now going to expand, and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Local Government and Housing announced to the parliament on the 12 May that the programme will tackle the most complex buildings, increase the number of properties included and remove the burden from home owners. I can also advise that your address is in the pilot and your property factor should be able to provide information on the current status of your building.

2. Single Building Assessments are free to home owners and will bring together all the essential fire safety documents that cover a building. It takes a broader view of fire safety than the cladding system alone.

3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the
exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.

4. Throughout this ongoing initial phase to further develop the Single Building Assessment we are working with a range of stakeholders including lenders and insurers to allow people to buy and sell.

These assessments includes an EWS1 which was developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK Finance and Building Societies Association for mortgage valuation purposes only. It is not a fire or building safety certificate, nor is it a government or legal requirement.

However, it is used by valuers to enable them to provide a mortgage valuation and by lenders in considering whether to lend on a property. The Scottish Government were not part of the introduction, or had any involvement in the EWS1, this is solely a requirement for mortgage lenders and insurers.

Lenders are independent bodies who must set their own policies in line with good practice, the law and the needs of their customers, and as a result, the Scottish Government cannot require them to take action.

Regulation of mortgage lending is a matter entirely reserved to the UK Parliament and Government. Therefore the Scottish Government is unable to intervene with their policies or their decisions regarding individual lending.

More information concerning the EWS1 form can be found on the RICS website where they issued updated guidance Update to EWS1 form and RICS valuation guidance

5. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the
exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter. However, you may wish to contact your property factor, building owner or local authority who may hold these details and may be able to help you.

About FOI

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.

FOI 202200306590 - Information released - Annex

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

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