Policy on publishing personal data

Details of what we publish relating to planning applications, enforcement and pre-application enquiries and how to help us protect your personal data.

Planning applications - Most documents relating to planning applications form part of the statutory planning register: we have a duty to make this information available at our customer services centre and we act lawfully by publishing it online. Detailed arrangements are as follows:

  • We publish most documents online, but first obscure signatures and personal telephone numbers and email addresses. Only under exceptional circumstances, such as in the interests of national security, are documents not published online. Some older records are not available online, follow this link for more details about what information is published and how to access it.
  • The names and addresses of applicants, agents and those commenting on applications appear online, as these form part of the statutory register. We do not take into account any objections made anonymously when evaluating planning applications. Under exceptional circumstances, we will consider requests to obscure names to protect identities, please contact the case officer to discuss this.
  • We aim to obscure any sensitive personal data included with supporting documents, such as medical, educational or financial details, before publishing them online.
  • However all documents, as they were originally submitted to us, may be made available for public viewing at our customer services centre.
  • Because most petitions include signatures, we do not publish these in full online, but our website will indicate where we have received a petition.
  • All documents are published online whilst the planning application is evaluated. Correspondence and public comments disappear from our website as soon as the application is decided, but re-appear if an appeal is lodged.

 

You can help us protect your personal data by:

  • Using our online service to comment on planning applications
  • Printing your name instead of signing it
  • Telling us about any documents containing personal information you don’t want published - we consider each request individually
  • Emailing documents to us as attachments
  • Avoiding including people, especially children, in any photos.

     

Enforcement - We investigate all complaints but in many cases find no breach of planning controls has occurred. Where there is a breach, it is frequently unintentional and can be quickly rectified. For these reasons we do not publish any details about enforcement apart from when we serve an enforcement notice.

When we serve an enforcement notice, we publish summary information and a copy of the enforcement notice. All other details remain confidential, but please note the final paragraph below. We do not publish any information about who made the complaint.

Pre-application enquiries - about whether planning permission is needed or whether it is likely to be granted are confidential. We do not publish any details of these enquiries, but please note the following paragraph.

Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations - The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides a general right of access to all information and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give similar rights of access to environmental information held by public authorities. We consider any requests for information under these regulations on individual merit and, whilst we would not normally disclose personal data, we cannot guarantee that other details relating to enforcement or pre-application enquiries will remain confidential.

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