Access to Information

Environmental Information Regulations

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 came into force on 1 January 2005 and give members of the public the right to access environmental information held by Public Authorities, which includes Harborough District Council.

The regulations cover information on the state of the environment, such as:

  • Air, water, soil, flora, fauna (including humans),diversity, genetically modified organisms
  • Information on emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances
  • Measures and activities such as policies, plans, and agreements
  • Reports, cost benefit and economic analyses
  • The state of human health and safety, contamination of the food chain
  • Cultural sites and built structures (as they may be affected by environmental factors)

Although the Environmental Information Regulations create a strong presumption in favour of openness, Regulation 12 does provide public authorities with some grounds for refusing to disclose environmental information. All exceptions in the Environmental Information Regulations are subject to the public interest test. This means that even though information may be covered by an exception, public authorities must still disclose unless the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.

The Council will respond to the written request within 20 working days of you submitting your request and will advise you:

  • Whether we hold the information
  • If a fee will be charged
  • Provide you with the information (after any relevant fee has been paid), unless an exemption applies.
  • Fees

The Regulations permit the Council to charge such sum as it considers reasonable for making environmental information available except in instance mentioned below:

  • Access public registers or lists of environmental information

The Council reserves the right to charge for the following activities:

  • Determining whether we hold the information requested
  • Locating the information, or a document containing the information
  • Retrieving the information
  • Extracting the information from documents containing it
  • Other costs of making available the information (e.g. supervision of scanning and photographing of documents, postage and photocopying costs)
  • Postage and other means of transmission (e.g. CD-Roms) will be charged at cost and photocopying at 10p per A4 sheet

Making a Request

You can make a request for information by writing to the Freedom of Information Officer, Harborough District Council, Council Offices, Adam and Eve Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 7AG or by email to customer.services@harborough.gov.uk