The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 establish an access regime which allows access to environmental information held by public authorities. Environmental information includes information about the air, water, soil or food chain and factors affecting them such as noise, energy and emissions.
A request for environmental information can be verbal or written electronic or hardcopy. You may wish to use the council’s application form to make a request; you can do this by clicking on the link above. Public authorities may charge a reasonable fee for disclosing information.
If the process of finding and retrieving the information to satisfy a request for environmental information will take more than 18 hours (2.5 working days) then the Council will charge at a rate of £25 per hour for the total amount of time taken to retrieve the information. Where there is an existing charge for information e.g. copies of the Local Plan, a contaminated land search, these charges will still apply.
Where charges for photocopying specialist pages are already in existence, e.g. planning publications, these charges will still apply, otherwise a standard photocopying/printing charge will apply. The Council will charge 10p per A4 or A3 black and white or colour sheet and charges will apply once the total amount is over £5.
The requestor will be informed if a charge is payable as early on in the process as possible. As soon as a charge is determined they will be sent a letter requesting that they pay the amount before the information can be sent to them. If the requested fee has not been paid within 60 days of the fees letter being sent, then the request will be closed.
Public authorities must usually respond to requests for information within twenty working days which can be extended to forty working days if the request is complex.
The Regulations contain a certain number of exceptions which allow public authorities to withhold information if there would be adverse consequences in it being released.
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