Privacy notice for development management

Planning and Regulatory is a service of Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils, working together as West Suffolk. This privacy statement explains how we use any personal information we collect about you when contacting the planning service.

Why are we processing your information?

All representations received in respect of a planning application are processed in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

What will your information be used for?

Your information will be used by Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury councils in determining an application for planning permission and will only be used for these purposes. Your information may also be used to contact you regarding an application for the following reasons:

  • when a decision is made
  • if the application is revised
  • if the application is to be determined by committee
  • if an appeal is lodged

All your information will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and may also be used by us and our partners to deliver and improve this service. Your name and address will be published online, as this provides important context when considering the application. We will not disclose any personal information to any other third parties unless required to do so by law. For more information on how this is done visit How we use your information

What information do we collect about you? 

When determining a planning application, we receive personal information contained in the application, documents which support or oppose the application, details of the applicant, or their agent applicant and other parties, and other information from interested parties. This personal information can include:

  • contact information - names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers
  • details of the occupation of the parties
  • information about the health of the parties
  • opinions expressed about the application itself

Publication and access to information

To comply with our statutory obligations, we must make public certain details relating to planning applications. This is known as the public register which is held on our website. We must also publish, on our website, a list of planning applications. This includes the name and address of the applicant and, where an agent is working for the applicant, the name and address of the agent. We also publish comments received relating to planning applications; this includes the names and addresses of the contributors.

The application will also be supported by a completed application form as well as supporting documentation and drawings. We are required to protect personal data from unnecessary disclosure and this means that we remove phone numbers, email addresses and signatures from the information which can be viewed by the public through the website. We will also remove any comments which we consider defamatory, inappropriate or obscene.

Your responsibilities

  • You should only provide personal information if you are happy for it to be placed in the public domain, including publication on the internet.
  • Do not provide personal information about another person (including family members) unless that individual has provided consent and you can provide evidence of the consent.
  • Tell us if any of the personal information you have provided should change.

Information security

All information is held securely and any information which is not held on our online planning information system (Public Access, Uniform) is only shared with other services within the councils for business purposes only.

Information retention

Representations on applications may be held for 15 years from the date of the decision in accordance with our retention policy and to ensure full transparency in the determination of a planning application. After this time we will ensure the information we hold is removed from our public systems.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Any personal information we capture about you is processed under the terms of The General Data Protection Regulation and the councils' Data Protection Policy which can be found at Data Protection Policy.

Can I access the information you hold about me?

Under GDPR you can ask for access to information we hold about you. This is called a data subject access request; you will need to request this information in writing. To help you in this process we have prepared a Data Subject Access Request form that you can download and complete. You will be required to provide proof of identity in person. We must respond to you within one month – if we feel the request is complex we may ask for an extension of this period.

If the information we provide is incorrect you must write to us and tell us what information is incorrect and ask that it be corrected. If we do not agree that the information is incorrect you may ask us to record your disagreement – more information on your rights under GDPR can be found at Data Protection Policy.

If you wish to complain about the way in which your request has been processed then your complaint will be dealt with as a Step Two complaint in accordance with our complaints procedure.

If, after an internal review, you are still unhappy with the decision, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner - visit their page Information Commissioner, report a concern.

How can I contact you?

Please contact us if you have any questions about this privacy notice or information we hold about you by emailing data.protection@westsuffolk.gov.uk or write to us at Data Protection, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3YU.