An Bord Pleanála

How to Get Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014

General Information on the Freedom of Information Act

Applications must be in writing and should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act. To facilitate access, a person may complete the attached form entitled ‘Request for Access to Records under the Freedom of Information Act 2014’. Please give as much detail as possible to enable the staff of the office to identify the record. If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records which you require, the staff of the office will be happy to assist you in preparing your request.


An Bord Pleanála is obliged to respond to the request within four weeks. Requests are due to be acknowledged within two weeks.


Under the Freedom of Information Act, anyone is entitled to apply to An Bord Pleanála for access to information that is held by it and not otherwise publicly available. Each person has a right to:

  • access to records held by An Bord Pleanála,
  • correction of personal information relating to oneself held by An Bord Pleanála where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading,
  • access to reasons for decisions made by An Bord Pleanála directly affecting oneself.

The following records come within the scope of the Act:

  • all records relating to personal information held by An Bord Pleanála irrespective of when created,
  • all other records created from the 21st April, 1998,
  • any other records necessary to the understanding of a current record.


The right of access does not apply to “exempt records” which are specified in detail in the Act.

The Act does not apply to records already publicly available. For example, an appeal determined by An Bord Pleanála is available for purchase/inspection under An Bord Pleanála’s public access system.

Applications under the Freedom of Information Act

Applications for information under the Freedom of Information Act should be addressed to:

Mr. Colm Walsh
Senior Executive Officer,
An Bord Pleanála,
64 Marlborough Street,
Dublin 1.
Phone (01) 858 8100
Fax (01) 872 2684
Email foi@pleanala.ie

  • No fee applies when making an FOI request.

Charges for Search, Retrieval and Copying of Records

Charges may be applied by An Bord Pleanála for the time spent finding and retrieving records, and for any copying costs incurred in providing you with the material requested. It is very unlikely that any charges will be applied in respect of personal records, except where a large number of records are involved.


If the cost of search, retrieval and copying is €100 or less, no charge is applied. If the charge exceeds €100, full fees apply. You cannot be charged more than €500.


If the estimated cost of search, retrieval and copying is more than €700 An Bord Pleanála can refuse to process your request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below this limit.

Rights of Review and Appeal

The Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage key interests of the State or of third parties. Where a public body invokes these provisions to withhold information, the decision may be appealed. Decisions in relation to deferral of access, charges, forms of access, etc. may also be the subject of appeal. Details of the appeals mechanisms are as follows:

Internal Review

You may seek internal review of the initial decision if:


1. you are dissatisfied with the initial response received e.g. refusal of information, form of access, charges, etc., or


2. the application has not received a reply within 4 weeks of your initial application. This is deemed to be a refusal of the request and allows the applicant to proceed to internal review.
The review is carried out by an official at a higher level. Requests for internal review should be submitted in writing to:


Ms. Mary Kelly
Senior Administrative Officer,
An Bord Pleanála,
64 Marlborough Street,
Dublin 1.
Phone (01) 858 8100
Fax (01) 872 2684

Such a request for internal review must be submitted within four weeks of the initial decision. The internal review must be completed within three weeks. The internal review must normally be completed before an appeal may be made to the Information Commissioner.

  • A standard fee of 30 must accompany an application for internal review under section 21.
  • A reduced fee of 10 applies if the person bringing the application is a medical card holder or a dependant of a medical card holder.
  • The following internal review applications are exempt:

1. an application in relation to a decision concerning records containing only personal information related to the applicant.

2. an application in relation to a decision under section 9 (right of amendment of records relating to personal information).

3. an application in relation to a decision under section 10 (right of person to information regarding acts of public bodies affecting the person).

4. an application in relation to a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount.

Review by the Information Commissioner

Following completion of internal review, an applicant may seek an independent review of the decision from the Information Commissioner. Also, if you have not received a reply to your application for internal review within three weeks, this is deemed to be a refusal and an applicant may appeal the matter to the Commissioner.


Appeals in writing may be made to the Information Commissioner at the following address:


Officer of the Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street,
Dublin 2.
Phone (01) 639 5689 or Lo-Call 1890 22 30 30
Fax (01) 661 0570 Web www.oic.ie


His or her findings will be binding, subject to appeal to the High Court on a point of law.

  • A standard fee of 50 must accompany applications to the Information Commissioner for review of decisions made by public bodies under section 22.
  • A reduced fee of 15 applies if

1. the person bringing the application is a medical card holder or a dependant of a medical card holder or

2. the person is specified in section 38(2) i.e. a third party with the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner where a public body decides to release their information on public interest grounds.

  • The following applications to the Information Commissioner are exempt:

1. an application concerning records containing only personal information related to the applicant.

2. an application in relation a decision under section 9 (right of amendment of records relating to personal information)

3. an application in relation to a decision under section 10 (right of person to information regarding acts of public bodies affecting the person).

Freedom of Information Fees (Table)

Guide to fees relating to Freedom of Information Requests/Applications

Effective from Tuesday 14th October 2014

Type of Request/Application

Standard Fee*

Reduced Fee* & ** & ***

Request for a record under Section 12

Initial Request

No Charge

No Charge

Internal Appeal

€30

€10

Appeal to Information Commissioner

€50

€15

Request under section 12 for personal information

No Charge

No Charge

Application under section 9 for amendment of a record containing incorrect, incomplete or misleading personal information

No Charge

No Charge

Application under section 10 for the reasons for a decision affecting the individual

No Charge

No Charge

 

* Fee will not apply where a person appeals a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount under section 27 of the FOI Act


**Reduced fee will apply in respect of third parties who appeal a decision of a public body to release their information on public interest grounds


***Reduced fee will apply to medical card holders and their dependants on production of their medical card

Last modified: 20/09/2017