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Planning privacy notice

Who will own my data once I submit it?

We will own your data once it has been submitted.

Why do you need my information?

Our planning department uses various kinds of information including personal details and sometimes sensitive personal data. This statement sets out the types of information that we collect, how it is stored, displayed, used and retained. In this statement the term ‘planning application’ is used to describe all types of applications under the Planning Acts, and includes pre-application submissions and the Community Infrastructure Levy. We receive applications seeking consent of one form or another, requests for advice and allegations of unlawful development. Our purpose in collecting and using data is to operate as a statutory body carrying out a public task.

The most common things we use data for are:

  • publicising applications in various ways to seek comments and information
  • notifying other organisations of proposals to seek their views
  • investigating allegations
  • writing reports and making decisions
  • system testing

If you submit a planning application we will collect your name, postal address and contact details (i.e. email address or phone number if provided). The applicants name and address is made publicly available as part of the application form and we will only use your contact information for the notification of the progress of a planning application, if an email address is provided you will receive an email notification. If an agent has submitted an application on your behalf, then their contact details will be made publicly available and we will usually send any notifications to them unless you have specifically asked to be contacted directly.

If you submit special category data in support of your planning application we will use it for the purposes of processing your application. The types of special category data we may collect to support your application include: data revealing racial or ethnic origin and/or religious beliefs to ensure compliance with the Equality Act; data concerning health and/or age intended to justify adaptations to, and uses of, buildings; and data pertinent to understanding the weight to be attributed to considerations under Human Rights legislation, including the rights of the child.

If you comment on a planning application we will collect your name, postal address and contact details (i.e. email address or phone number if provided). We will only use your personal information for the notification of the progress of a planning application, if an email address is provided you will receive an email notification.

We will not publish your name, phone number or email address online, but we will publish:

  • your address
  • your comment, in full and unmoderated

You are responsible for the content of your comment. Please ensure that your comment does not contain any information you do not want to appear online (e.g. personal information), foul or abusive language, or inappropriate or defamatory comments.

We follow up on a proportion of cases to ask how we did. This is done via an email survey sent out to the address we hold. We do this so we can understand the needs of our users and deliver improved services. You do not have to respond or contribute; it will not affect how we treat you in the future.

What allows you to use my information?

We collect and process information for planning as part of our duties, powers and responsibilities as a public authority under Article 6 part (e) and Article 9 part (g) of the General Data Protection Regulations. In order to comply with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 and the Equality Act 2010, the legislation requires us to notify and invite representations following the submission of a planning application. As part of our Statement of Community Involvement 2017 we will also notify any interested parties of the outcome of a planning application.

We are also required to make publicly available the reasons for our decisions for a period of six years and any relevant background papers for a period of four years from the date of a decision under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014.

Who will my information be shared with?

Planning applications are held as a public register as required by the Development Management Procedure Order 2015. The register must be kept indefinitely and is stored in our internal database. This register is also published on our website, although we redact the following details:

  • personal contact details for the applicant - i.e. telephone numbers, email addresses
  • signatures
  • personal sensitive information
  • information agreed to be confidential

Once valid, applications will be made publicly available on our website which will include the applicants name and address and agent (if any) details.

If a planning application is refused and is subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, the comments and your address are copied and shared with the Planning Inspectorate and the appellant as part of the appeal process.

If you submit a comment marked as 'confidential' it will still be published on our website and held on the planning register, but we will amend your email/letter to remove your personal data and any special category data. This means that the content of your comment will be published online but your address will be amended and will not be published online (and your name, email address and phone number will also be amended as normal).

We will not share any personal information provided in respect of an allegation of unlawful development.

Please note that the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations give third parties the right to access recorded information held by public sector organisations.

When we have to share your information, we will only do so where it is necessary or required by law. The organisations we will share your information with are:

  • Government Agencies (e.g Planning inspectorate (PINS))
  • Local Government

Do I have to provide this information and what will happen if I don’t?

The standard forms for planning applications require provision of your personal information. If you do not provide contact details we will not be able to update you as to the progress of your application or provide advice. If you are using a planning agent.

Processing of the representations you make is necessary under the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 and The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014. In order to be notified in relation to a planning application we will require contact details.

You can submit comments on a planning application or make an allegation of unlawful development by post without providing any personal data, but if you do not provide contact details we will not be able to keep you updated or notify you of the decision.

How long will you keep this data for and why?

We only keep hold of information for as long as is necessary, having regard to our statutory duties and the need to be transparent and open in the way we exercise our planning functions. This depends on what the specific information is and the agreed retention period. Data is disposed of permanently after this period, in line with our retention policy/schedule.

For planning application documents including the application, plans and drawings submitted and an accompanying design and access statement (if required),the retention schedule states that we should keep these permanently.

For any comments submitted on a planning application, the personal contact details which formed part of that comment will be removed from our system as soon as we are no longer required to contact you.

How will my information be stored?

Your information will be stored electronically on our database system and document management system provided by Idox (including our web interface). Access is restricted to our Planning and Strategic Transport service. As soon as your personal details are no longer required to carry out our duties, they will be automatically removed from the system.

Your rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • your right of access - you have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information
  • your right to rectification - you have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
  • your right to restriction of processing - you have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances
  • your right to object to processing - you have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

To make a request follow the instructions on our Data Protection for you page.

Who can I complain to if I am unhappy about how my data is used

You can complain directly to our Data Protection team online or by post.

  • By post: Phil Orchard, Data Protection Officer, HQ, Nicholas Street, Chester, CH1 2NP
Contact the DPO

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office using the following details:

  • By post: The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
  • Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45
Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me


Will my data be transferred abroad and why