Environmental information

The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (“the Regulations”) gives the public the right to access environmental information we hold.

Environmental information covers a broad range of topics. To find out what is covered, click here.

How to make an Environmental Information Request

Our guide to information we publish includes the environmental information we publish.

If you are unable to find the environmental information you are looking for, you can make a request by contacting our Governance Team:

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner has prepared tips for requester guidance.

How long will it take to respond to my request?

We will make environmental information available to any person who requests it within 20 working days (or, where the request is large and complex, within 40 working days).

Will I have to pay for the information I receive?

Requests for environmental information are processed under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs) as well as under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

As with FOISA, it is possible to charge a fee for providing environmental information on request, although the specific charging rules are different.  In particular, in marked contrast to FOISA, there are no upper or lower limits to the fee which may be charged. Instead, the EIRs state the fees shall not exceed “a reasonable amount” and must not exceed the actual costs of producing the information requested.

This schedule of fees applies to Wheatley Group and its subsidiaries when a request for information falls under scope of the EIRs.

When will Wheatley Group and its subsidiaries charge for environmental information?

We will charge requestors for the following in relation to a request which falls under the scope of the EIRs:

  • Staff time locating, retrieving and assembling the information requested. This will be charged at the actual cost of the lowest grade of member of staff carrying out the task
  • Photocopying - will be charged per sheet (see table below)
  • The cost of posting the information to the requestor.

Requestors will always be notified of any charge before information is provided. Payment must be received in advance of the information being provided. Where information requests cost £100-£600 to provide, the fees will be restricted to only the cost of retrieving, copying and posting to the requestor the information requested.

When will Wheatley Group and its subsidiaries not charge for environmental information?

We will not charge a fee for the provision of information under the EIRs where it costs £100 or less to provide it.

Standard charges - black and white and colour photocopying:

Size of paperCost per sheet - black and whiteCost per sheet - colour
Per CD (for information on CD-ROM)50pN/A

When providing copies of pre-printed publications, we will charge no more than the cost per copy of the total print run. We do not pass any other costs on to a requestor in relation to our published information.

When may Wheatley Group and its subsidiaries refuse to provide the information requested on the basis of cost?

In cases where we estimate a request will cost in excess of £600 to answer we may refuse to provide information. The EIRs do not have a set maximum cost of compliance, so we will consider each request on a case by case basis.

Will any information be withheld?

There are exceptions within the regulations which may allow us to refuse to comply with your request for example, the information is not held.

Where an exception applies to the facts of your request, when we respond, we will set out the reasons for withholding the information, together with details of the mechanism for review and appeal.

What if I am not happy with the handling of the request?

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request and wish to seek a review, please write to:

The Information Governance Team, Wheatley Group, Wheatley House, 25 Cochrane Street, Glasgow, G1 1HL.

Should you remain unhappy with the handling of your request and the review, you may wish to contact the Scottish Information Commissioner’s Office.

How do I find out more about requesting environmental information?

The Scottish Information Commissioner’s office provides useful guidance on the meaning of environmental information and the rules that apply.