Grants and subsidies from Scottish Forestry and predecessors to Balmoral, Castle of Mey and Dumfries House estates: EIR release
- Part of
- Farming and rural, Public sector
Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004
All subsidy payments made by Scottish Forestry and all relevant predecessor bodies to Balmoral estate, Aberdeenshire AB35 5TB, Castle of Mey, Caithness KW14 8XH and Dumfries House, East Ayrshire KA18 2NJ.
Please detail all grants and subsidies paid to those three land holdings by Scottish Forestry and all relevant predecessor bodies for each of the 20 financial years starting from 2001. For the avoidance of doubt, please include payments to any land holdings where the applicant is named as one of the estates named above.
Please list those payments, for each estate separately, by:
a) individual financial year
b) title or type of subsidy and
c) for each type of subsidy, the total payments for that year
d) the landholding, geographic location or forest name to which the payment applies (i.e. if it applies to a specific block of forestry with a specific name, please state which).
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.
Response to your request
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 under regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (Information not held) applies to some of the information you have requested.
Prior to 2011, responsibility for making payments under forestry grant schemes sat with the then Forestry Commission, and Scottish Forestry as successor body can provide this information through to that point.
Please see attached for a table of payments made to the estates in question under the Woodland Grant Scheme and Scottish Forestry Grants Scheme, including a summary of payments by financial year. No payments were made to the Castle of Mey estate under these schemes.
From 2011, while the Forestry Commission and subsequently Scottish Forestry retained the responsibility for assessing and approving grant applications under forestry grant schemes, responsibility for making payments to applicants transferred to the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID). As your request asks for amounts “paid by Scottish Forestry and all relevant predecessor bodies”, there were no further payments made by us from that date.
This may seem like a technical point but it is also a practical one. For payments since 2011, RPID is the data holder and may be able to provide a complete record of payments made to the estates in question.
For details of these payments, please can I suggest you submit a fresh information request to the Scottish Government using the contact details available here: https://www.gov.scot/about/contact-information/how-to-request-information/, wording your request as “Please detail all grants and subsidies paid to those three land holdings by the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division” etc.
As RPID may also have made other payments to these estates since 2001, some related to forestry projects and others not connected to forestry, I would suggest that you:
- Retain the 2001 financial year start date in your new request, to provide a full picture of payments across the period.
- Specify “payments relating to forestry grant schemes” if this is the sole category of payments you are seeking information on.
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.
- File type
- 1 page PDF
- File size
- 110.2 kB
- File type
- Excel document
- File size
- 17.5 kB
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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