Rural Payments and Inspections Division screening opinions for restructured land: EIR release

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

Information requested

Can the Scottish Government provide the number of screening opinions carried out by the rural payments and inspections division on work done by farmers to restructure land across Scotland? This data should include the number of times an environmental impact assessment has been required for land levelling/restructuring work across Scotland. Please can this be data be provided since 2017 and broken down by local authority area.


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.

The answer to your question is, since 2017, from across Scotland, the Rural Payments and Inspections Division (RPID) has provided 9 screening opinions in the Dumfries and Galloway Local Authority area and one screening opinion in the Aberdeenshire Local Authority area, where farmers sought to restructure land under the Agriculture, Land Drainage and Irrigation Projects (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Scotland) Regulations 2017. For those 10 screening opinions, RPID did not require a full environmental impact assessment application.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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