Freedom of Information releases

West Edinburgh Spatial Strategy for Inclusive Growth (WE-SSIG) phase 2

WE-SSIG phase 2: EIRs response (reference 4931)

Date received

3 November 2021

Date responded

1 December 2021

Information requested

We refer to the West Edinburgh Spatial Strategy for Inclusive Growth (“WE-SSIG”) project led by Scottish Enterprise and others. Our client seeks a copy of all reports and documents in relation to WE-SSIG, produced following the conclusion of Phase 1 of the WE-SSIG project, held by Scottish Enterprise.


A draft Phase 2 report has been produced however the document is currently going through a review and approval process, during which time revisions to the document can be proposed and implemented.

The finalised document is scheduled to be presented to the West Edinburgh Project Board for agreement before being reported to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee on 22 February 2022. We understand it is at this meeting that the document will be made publicly available. Given the Phase 2 report is still in draft, we are withholding this information under EIRs Regulation 10(4)(d) - Material in the course of completion, etc.

Regulation 10(4)(d) states that: (4) A Scottish public authority may refuse to make environmental information available to the extent that – (d) the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished documents or to incomplete data.

Public interest

We recognise that as a public authority, Scottish Enterprise has a duty to be open and transparent; and we look to release information when requested wherever possible, particularly regarding information that is of serious concern and benefit to the public.

It serves the public interest to be given access to reports of this nature, as it provides opportunities to review and scrutinise plans, and contribute to discussions and debates. In the same way that the Phase 1 report was made public, these opportunities will be provided in due course for Phase 2. The public will have access to this information, but it is reasonable that this takes place only once the report has actually been completed, approved and is ready for release.

It would not serve the public to have access to a draft report, which could then be subject to change; instead, the public would be better served by accessing a complete report. Disclosure at this time would not enhance scrutiny of decision-making processes or improve accountability and participation; and it would not contribute to a debate on a matter of public interest. Instead, disclosure of materials that are still in the course of completion has real potential to cause confusion and undermine or jeopardise a legitimate development process.

Taking these considerations into account, and given the clear intention to publish this report in February 2022, we have reached the decision that the public interest favours withholding information that is in the course of completion. As required under regulation 13(b) of the EIRs, we are therefore providing you with a written refusal notice.

Contact us

For further information please contact our communications team, quoting the FOI reference number.