Planning services privacy statement

Purpose for processing your information

Planning Services essentially provides two broad functions:

  • Planning Policy
  • Development Management, which includes Enforcement

Planning policy documents can cover a wide range of topics but essentially many are used to determine planning applications. Planning policy documents influence the built environment that people live and work in. Therefore, consulting residents and other stakeholders within the borough and wider statutory bodies is an inherent part of the work we do. Quite often how/who we consult with on policy documents is prescribed in legislation. Similarly, whilst determining planning applications it is quite rightly a legislative requirement that neighbours of a proposed development are consulted and their comments taken into account. If you report a planning breach to enforcement, your details are treated confidentially and your details are not disclosed outside the council. Enforcement notices served on owners and those with an interest in the land are public documents.

Information we collect

Your personal information is only used to consult you on planning policy documents or planning applications. If we intend to use it for any other new purposes, we will normally ask you first. For instance, in some cases, the council may wish to use your information for another purpose such as relating to improving and developing services, or to preventing or detecting fraud. In any event our processing will always have a demonstrable lawful basis. Where practicable and reasonable we will always seek to inform you of any significant proposed changes to how we process or intend to process your personal data, in order to ensure full transparency over how we handle your information.

How we collect your information

We collect information in a number of ways, for example, by letter, email, face-to-face, telephone, online forms.

Who the information is shared with

Your personal information is not shared with anyone outside of Planning and Borough Development Management either internally within the council or externally. Comments submitted as part of planning applications not be published on the council’s website.  However, redacted copies removing personal data will be made available for requests to view comments.

The planning officer’s report will identify your property and include a summary of your comments to explain how the issues were considered. This report will be available online through our planning register once the decision has been made. Your comments will also be shared with the Planning Inspectorate if the applicant appeals against our decision and may be shared with the Local Government Ombudsman in the event of a judicial review or the Greater London Authority.

How long we keep your information

We will only keep your information for as long as is required by law and to provide you with the necessary services in line with our stated retention policy.

  • For planning policy consultations, we retain your details unless you ask us to remove them.
  • Information submitted as part of a planning application submission will be retained as part of the public file.
  • Public comments submitted against planning applications will be removed after ten years

We may also anonymise some personal data you provide to us to ensure that you cannot be identified and use this data to allow the council to effectively target and plan the provision of services. For example, for planning policy consultations we would normally publish your name but not any contact details.

Your rights and access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.

The Data Protection Act 2018 also gives you additional rights that refer to how the council holds and uses your information.

Consequently, under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • withdraw consent and the right to object and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may affect service delivery to you.
  • request to have your data deleted where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing and provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
  • request your data to be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority
  • not be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

Find out how to submit a Subject Access Request.

If you have any concerns

If you would like to know more about the information we hold about you and how we use it please contact our Data Protection Officer by email at

You have a right to complain if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information. Please see the Complaints page.

If you are not satisfied with the council’s response you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can report a concern by visiting the ICO website.

Changes in your circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details so we can maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.

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