Environmental information regulations


Access to information that is classed as Environmental Information falls under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.   The European Directive 2003/4/EC states that:

Environmental information- shall mean any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on:

(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements;

(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to in (a);

(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect these elements;

(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;

(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in (c); and

(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in (b) or (c).

Requesting information

Any person can make a request to the council for information.  We will acknowledge your request upon receipt and provide you with the information, subject to exemptions, within 20 working days. 

There are a number of ways in which you can make a request:

Charging for environmental information

In accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations, we are able to charge for making environmental information available, however any such charge must be reasonable.  We can’t and don’t charge for:

  • access to public registers or lists of environmental information
  • inspection of environmental information at a location made available by us 

We consider reasonable charges to include the cost of paper, printing and postage but not the cost of staff time in identifying, locating and retrieving environmental information. 

As there is not a cost limit for environmental information, we may consider some requests manifestly unreasonable if they exceed the appropriate limit specified in the Freedom of Information Act Fees Regulations.  If your request is likely to exceed £450 (18 hours at £25 per hour) we will offer you advice and assistance to help you refine your request and we will always undertake the public interest test before refusing any manifestly unreasonable requests.  We will provide as much information as we can free of charge although we will need to charge you for any paper, printing and postage costs incurred. 

Last reviewed: 24 - 05 - 2016

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