Copies of records of any meetings or phone calls between the following parties and the DPEA :
Clowes Developments and any of their agents (including RMP);
Held with any representatives or employees from North Lanarkshire Council
If records have not been kept, confirmation of the dates calls or meetings took place, their duration and reasons for the call or meeting.
I'd also like confirmation that copies of ALL exchanges between the reporter and the appellant (and their representatives) have been published on the DPEA site.
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 can confirm that no meetings have been held between the DPEA and either Clowes Developments and any of their agents (including RMP) or North Lanarkshire Council. I can confirm that DPEA hold no record of any telephone calls with any parties to the appeal including those parties noted above.
In this light, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not hold the information you have requested therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. 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 clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
As you may be aware, all correspondence and submissions relating to an appeal/application must be directed to the case officer for that case, who will then pass these to the reporter for their consideration. The case officer’s name and contact information is available to view on the DPEA website page for the relevant case and will also be found on correspondence issued by DPEA relating to the case. This procedure ensures that all parties can be confident that other parties cannot submit evidence direct to the reporter and that all evidence is shared in a fair and transparent manner. DPEA caseworkers may utilise telephone contact to clarify administrative processes or respond to administrative queries. DPEA do not generally keep a record or transcript of telephone calls. I can confirm that Reporters do not correspond directly with any parties to an appeal unless done so by way of public hearing or inquiry. I can confirm that copies of ALL exchanges between the DPEA and the appellant (and their representatives) have been published on the DPEA site.
Finally, I have attached a copy of correspondence which is held and not published to our website , due to its administrative nature, detailing a follow up email, following an unsuccessful call from the DPEA case officer to North Lanarkshire Council in which the case officer was seeking missing information.
An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception
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.
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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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