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REF: 157 - Applications for granted lease option arrangements for seaweed harvesting

Request:

1. Please provide all the application documentation relating to the seaweed aquaculture Granted Lease Option Arrangements initially provided to SIFT under FOI Request (your reference FOI 148), including the associated Business Plans relating to these Granted Lease Option Agreements, as required under Crown Estate Scotland’s ‘Guide for Applicants (Aquaculture Leases)’;

2. Please provide all information (including application documents and the final lease) relating to any Leases that have been granted for the purpose of seaweed aquaculture, including both Leases which exclusively relate to seaweed aquaculture and Leases which permit seaweed aquaculture alongside shellfish or finfish aquaculture.

Response:

1. Enclosed are all the application documentation received for each granted Lease Option Agreement. The redactions in ‘Red’ is personal information as defined under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and disclosure would contravene the first two principles of GDPR. Exception 11(2) under EIRS is applied. The redactions in ‘Blue’ relate to information supplied by the applicant that is commercially sensitive (e.g investments, financials); therefore exception 10(5)(e) under EIRs is applied. If this information were to be in the public domain it would undermine the applicants negotiating ability with suppliers, it is likely to negatively affect partnerships and investors if competitors are able to undercut their financial forecasts. It is in the public interest to allow a fair opportunity for businesses starting out in a new and novel industry.

2. The enclosed documents relate to each aquaculture seaweed lease. We don’t have any lease agreements where it allows both seaweed aquaculture and finfish or shellfish aquaculture. The redactions in ‘Red’ is personal information as defined under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and disclosure would contravene the first two principles of GDPR. Exception 11(2) under EIRS is applied. The redactions in ‘Blue’ relate to information financial, rental information; therefore exception 10(5)(e) under EIRs is applied. Crown Estate Scotland does not have a fixed rent determination process for seaweed. If this information were to be in the public domain, it would undermine our ability to negotiate rental terms and ensure we are getting the best value for money.