Mr Robert Smith
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 November 2017
Dear Mr Smith
Thank you for your information request dated 28 October which we received on 30 October.
I have processed your request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (‘EIR’) as the
information requested is environmental according to the definition in regulation 2 of the EIR. Section 39 of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’) exempts environmental information from the Act, but
requires us to consider it under the EIR.
In your email you requested the following information:
“This is a request for Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It is made with the
assistance of the website WhatDoTheyKnow.Com . Please note your response will be displayed on
the website WhatDoTheyKnow.Com
“The HS2 Memorandum (Annex 4: Environmental Memorandum which can be found here
ental_Memorandum.pdf ) identifies (in Section 5) five Environmentally Sensitive Worksites along
the route of Phase One. Table 5.1 states "As part of the LEMPs the Environmental Memorandum
requires the NU to prepare site specific management plans for 'Key Environmentally Sensitive
“Those 5 worksites are 1. Colne Valley, 2. Chilterns AONB, 3. Berkswell Marsh, 4.Bernwood Forest,
and 5. Radstone andHelmdon disused railway. The corresponding Local Environmental
Management Plans (hereafter referred to as LEMPs) for those five sites can be identified as 1.
London Borough of Hillingdon,
“2. Chiltern and Wycombe District Councils
“3. Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
“4. Aylesbury Vale District Council
“5. South Northamptonshire District Council
“None of these five documents contain the Site Specific Management Plans for their corresponding
Environmentally Sensitive Sites. When will HS2 publish these Site Specific Management Plans for
the five identified Environmentally Sensitive Sites and append them to the LEMPS?”
I can confirm that HS2 Ltd holds some information related to your request.
The Key Environmentally Sensitive Work Site Management Plans are being prepared and published prior
to the commencement of works which may affect these sensitive sites. The preparation and publication of
these Plans is therefore determined by the Phase One construction programme for specific works in
Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plans for Colne Valley and Chilterns AONB
The Colne Valley Regional Park Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plan and the
Chilterns AONB Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plan are currently going through
consultation with stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural
England. These documents will be appended to the relevant Local Environmental Management Plans
(LEMPS) when they are finalised, and the updated LEMPs will be published online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-environmental-management-plans-for-hs2-phase-
It is expected the updated LEMPs for London Borough of Hillingdon (including the Colne Valley
Regional Park Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plan) and Chiltern and Wycombe District
Councils (including the Chilterns AONB Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plan) will be
published before the end of 2017.
HS2 Ltd therefore holds draft documents of the Colne Valley Regional Park Key Environmentally Sensitive
Worksite Management Plan and the Chilterns AONB Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite
Management Plan, however we are not disclosing the draft documents on the following grounds:
Regulation 12(4)(d) – Material in the course of completion, unfinished documents and incomplete data
Regulation 12(4)(d) of the EIRs provides that a public authority may refuse to disclose information “to the
extent that the request relates to material which is still in the course of completion, to unfinished
documents or to incomplete data”. If the information falls into any one of these categories, then the
exception is potentially engaged (subject to a consideration of whether the public interest in maintaining
the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information).
Given that the Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plans for Colne Valley and Chilterns
AONB are currently unfinished documents, we consider that Regulation 12(4)(d) applies.
Public Interest Test
All exceptions under EIR are subject to a Public Interest Test (PIT) which means that we need to consider
whether “in all circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the
public interest in disclosing the information”
. We have weighed up the benefits to the public of releasing the
information against the factors for not releasing it.
As provided above, the draft plans are currently going through consultation with stakeholders such as the
Environment Agency, Historic England and Natural England and are therefore unfinished documents. It is
in the public interest that the consultation process is able to conclude before making information available
in an unfinished form. Additionally, as the information is of interest to the wider public it is important it can
be accessed simultaneously by the general public rather than piecemeal by disclosure to a small number of
individuals under the EIR. The final plans will be published on the GOV.UK website before the end of the
In this case, we have concluded that the public interest favours withholding the information. Please see
the public interest test at Annex A.
Key Environmentally Sensitive Worksite Management Plans for Berkswell Marsh, Bernwood Forest,
and Radstone and Helmdon disused railway
I can confirm that HS2 Ltd does not currently hold this information. Works in the vicinity of these three
environmentally sensitive work sites are later in the Phase One construction programme and therefore the
management plans for these sites will be prepared next year. These will be appended in future updates of
the relevant LEMPs, currently planned for publication in summer 2018.
Regulation 12(4)(a) – No information
Where we have stated that we do not hold the information we are relying on EIR exception 12(4)(a) which
is subject to a public interest test. However, the Information Commissioner’s Office recognises that it can
be impossible to do a meaningful public interest test (PIT) if the information is not held. As such, a PIT has
not been carried out. The following link sets out regulation 12(4)(a) in full: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/3391/regulation/12/made.
EIR complaints process
If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request or with the decisions made in relation to
your request, you may complain in writing to HS2 Ltd at the address below. Please also see attached
details of HS2 Ltd’s complaints procedure and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner.
Please remember to quote reference number FOI17-1873
in any future communication relating to this
Freedom of Information Manager
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
Your right to complain to HS2 Ltd and the Information Commissioner
You have the right to complain to HS2 Ltd within two calendar months of the date of this letter about the
way in which your request for information was handled and/or about the decision not to disclose all or part
of the information requested.
Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date by which to expect a
response. Initially your complaint will be re-considered by the official who dealt with your request for
information. If, after careful consideration, that official decides that his/her decision was correct, your
complaint will automatically be referred to a senior independent official who will conduct a further review.
You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint and if a decision is taken to disclose information
originally withheld this will be done as soon as possible.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office