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Mapping in my Postal Code Area

This Freedom of Information request concerns correspondence between OS and Essex County Council

Request for information – FOI16641


Thank you for your email of 8 February 2016, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act FOIA 2000:

‘My request is for information, written or electronic between the Ordnance survey and Essex County council in respect of mapping in the XXXX XXX postal code area.  If possible from the 1950’s up to the present time and to include copies of relevant maps.
I would like this information in paper form and I understand if my request is not adequately clear that you are, under the act, able to provide me with with assistance in this request.’

Our response

From our preliminary assessment, it is clear that we will not be able to answer your request without further clarification.
We require further information in order to identify and locate the type of information for which you have asked. In particular, it would be useful to know if you are requesting specific paper maps for the area XXXX XXX from the 1950s to the present day.  If not, could you please specify what information you are requesting?

Please note that Ordnance Survey does not hold historic mapping or historic records.  However, under our duty to provide advice and assistance as stipulated in Section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we are able to provide the following links in respect of historic mapping and information which may assist you:

Both of these links enable access to Ordnance Survey historic mapping and information.

With regards to present day paper maps, we can confirm that we hold this information.  However, the information is exempt from disclosure under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  This is because the information is accessible to you, as it is already in the public domain.  Ordnance Survey paper maps are available to order from the OS Website:

Alternatively, Ordnance Survey datasets, both historic and current are available to view free of charge at the Legal Deposit Libraries.  These are:  The British Library, the National Library of Scotland, Trinity College Library in Dublin, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the National Library of Wales and the Cambridge University Library. 
In the event that none of the information above is helpful, please clarify your request as suggested above.  Once you have clarified your request, I will be able to begin to process your request.

If I do not receive clarification within three months, your request will be considered to have lapsed.  Please note that under section 1(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, a public authority need not comply with a request unless any further information reasonably required to locate the information is supplied.

I hope you find the above information is helpful to you.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS


Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.