Environmental information regulations (EIR)
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
What is environmental information?
Environmental information is:
- Information on the state of the elements including land, water, air, flora or fauna
- Information on activities that can have a negative impact on the environment: including noise, fly-tipping and other nuisances
- Information we hold relating to land use, planning, development control, buildings and estates
What exceptions apply?
The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) don’t require us to disclose information within the following categories when it isn’t in the public interest. These include:
- Information we don’t hold
- Very unreasonable requests
- Requests that are too general to respond to
- Internal communications
It also includes disclosure which would have a negative impact on:
- The confidentiality of public authority proceedings where that requirement is imposed by law
- The course of justice
- Public safety
- Confidential commercial information
- Any person’s interests where they have provided information voluntarily. We are not required to disclose the information by law and the person does not consent to its disclosure
- The protection of the environment to which the information relates
- Personal information
Our search charge is £180 (including VAT) per EIR request. This is payable on request using our EIR request form below.
If you are unable to make a payment online email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make an EIR request
Use the online form below to request and pay for an EIR search.
We will respond within 20 working days, however most requests are responded to sooner than this. We reserve the right to provide the request in the specified time or notify you if it will be longer.
If you change your mind within 48 hours, email email@example.com to cancel the request and get a refund, beyond this time we may have begun work and cannot issue a refund.
How the regulations work with council information
The EIR and Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) both allow access to information we hold. FOIs cover all information held by the council but excludes environmental information. You can request this under the EIR.
Differences between FOI and EIR requests:
- There are different exemptions to disclosure under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- We may make reasonable charges for allowing access to any environmental information. Under FOI, costs can only be charged if it would take us over 18 hours of work to comply with the request
Other access and public registers
We make a lot of environmental information available in public registers and under other legislation. In such cases, we’ll advise you how to access the information. We are required to determine any land within the district that meets the definition of contaminated land under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and maintain a register of such sites.
There are no sites within the Epping Forest district determined as contaminated land and therefore the contaminated land register contains no entries.
More details regarding EIRs can be found on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.