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Environmental Information Regulations 2004

Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) Fees & Charges April 2020 - March 2021

This page sets out when charges are payable for environmental information and relates to requests made relating to the Planning and Building Control services. Environmental information is defined under Regulation 2(1) of the EIR and covers information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material format.

The Council considers the following information to be included within the definition provided under Regulation 2(1):

  • Section 106 Agreements
  • Tree Preservation Orders
  • Drawings
  • Environmental Reports

This list is not exhaustive and all documents requested will be evaluated to determine whether they contain environmental information.

If the information requested is not environmental, it will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or the Data Protection Act 2018 if the request is for the applicant’s own personal data.

The Council will aim to respond to all requests within the statutory period of 20 working days following receipt of a valid request. An extension may be sought, however, where the request is complex or voluminous.

The purpose of the EIR is to encourage access to environmental information held by public authorities. Regulation 8 of the EIR, however, does allow the Council to charge for making such information available provided the charge is reasonable and does not act as an obstacle to access.

There are two broad types of costs for which the Council can charge:

  • The cost of staff time, including overhead costs, incurred when preparing information. This includes time spent locating, retrieving and extracting the information and putting it into the required format.
  • The costs incurred when printing or copying the requested information and sending it to the applicant.

The Council does not charge for:

  • The costs associated with maintaining a register of environmental information.
  • The cost of maintaining a database used to answer requests for environmental information
  • Allowing applicants to inspect or access public registers or lists of environmental information.
  • Staff time where the request can be fulfilled within 18 hours.

The Council will calculate the required fee based on the following rates:

  • Where the time to fulfil a request is likely to exceed 18 hours, staff time will be charged at the hourly rate of £25 for hour 19 onwards. This rate is also used for the FOIA cost-cap and the ICO have indicated it is reasonable for public authorities to use.
  • Costs of disbursements where the total cost to provide information exceeds £10 using the costs defined in the chart below.

If it is found that the requested information forms part of the planning register, the Council will make this information available to the requestor free of charge.

If the information requested pre-dates 2005, or is otherwise held on microfiche, the Council will charge for supplying the requested documents in line with the aforementioned rates.

In all cases where a charge is payable, payment will be required before any information is supplied. The requestor will have 60 days to make payment from the date they are advised a fee is due. Where payment is not received within this timeframe, it will be assumed that the information is no longer required and the case will be closed.

The Council will review its schedule of charges at the start of each financial year.

The Council reserves the right to refuse a request if it is identified to fall under one of the exceptions outlined in the regulations.

Further information on EIR exceptions can be found on the ICO’s website:

Disbursement costs

Cost for supplying hard copy information  
A4 Black & White 8p (excl VAT) 10p (incl VAT)
A3 Black & White 21p (excl VAT) 25p (incl VAT)
A4 Colour 42p (excl VAT) 50p (incl VAT)
A3 Colour 83p (excl VAT) £1.00p (incl VAT) Other
Email No charge
Postage At face value

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