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Ref: 170 - Lease on Hunterston Coal Jetty, Fairlie and Variations of Lease (FOI 168 AY - 5)

Request:

“1)what were the criteria applied in the decision to grant the two most recent variations of the coal jetty lease? 

2)what is the justification for CES granting a variation of lease which flies in the face of its own stated aim of building a net zero emissions economy? 

We would also ask that CES provide us with copies of all communications,  letters, emails, messages, memorand and file notes relating to the requests for and the granting of the two Variations, viz the Variations which were attached to the CES response to the above FOI request.”  

Response:

1. The criteria applied to all decisions (including the subject of the request) are that a) They comply with the Scottish Crown Estate Act 2019, and b) align with the Crown Estate Scotland Corporate Plan (published on our website). 

2. We do not consider this to be information held by Crown Estate Scotland and therefore outside the scope of the EIRs.  Regulation 10(4)(a) – information not held is applied. 

We have enclosed an encrypted USB stick (the password to which has been emailed to you).  The USB stick contains the documentation listed in Annex A to this letter.  This is the information which we hold in respect of your request for “copies of all communications,  letters, emails, messages, memorand and file notes relating to the requests for and the granting of the two Variations, viz the Variations which were attached to the CES response to the above FOI request.” 

Please note that the documents which have been provided have been redacted to remove personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act 2018 (this includes names, telephone numbers and email addresses); exception 11(2) of the EIRs is applied.  

Further redactions have been made in respect of commercially sensitive information the disclosure of which would breach a bi-lateral agreement between Crown Estate Scotland and Clydeport Operations Ltd and therefore exception 10(5)(e) of the EIRs is applied. It is in the public interest that negotiated terms, in particular financial sums and payments, remain confidential. Such information in the public domain would undermine future negotiations and impact Crown Estate Scotland from obtaining best value for money.