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Planning Privacy Notice

The purpose of processing

Making decisions and providing advice on planning applications, making decisions and providing advice on tree preservation orders and tree works, making planning policies, working with neighbourhoods on their plans, working with neighbouring authorities on strategic policies, responding to allegations of unlawful development (planning enforcement), monitoring development including the monitoring of Section 106 Agreements, administration and collection of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), entering legal agreements, serving notices and promoting the best use of land.

Data subjects

Planning agents or tree surgeons who submit their own applications or notifications or who submit on behalf of someone else
Appellants (those who appeal a decision)
Members of the public who comment on planning applications
Members of the public who comment on or contribute to planning policy consultations (including neighbourhood plans)
Individuals who lodge a complaint about unauthorised development (enforcement)
Individuals who are the subject of an enforcement investigation or action
Individuals who are liable to pay CIL or who are responsible for paying or delivering S106 planning obligations

Personal data

Contact details
Special category data (such as evidence of medical history)

How is it used?

We use the information provided to us to make decisions about the use of land in the public interest, known as a “public task”
Some information provided to us we are obliged, under the regulations to make available on the Planning Register or the Enforcement Register
This is a permanent record of our planning, tree and enforcement decisions, consents, approvals, certificates or discharges that forms part of the planning history of a site, along with other facts that constitute the “land search”
To keep those who comment on planning applications informed of the next stages of decision making - for example, if an application is going to be determined by Planning Committee
To keep representors informed of upcoming stage in plan preparation
At the formal pre-submission stage we are required to share your contact details with a Planning Inspector (independent of the council and appointed by the government) to undertake Examination of the Plan

Profiling and automated decision making

Not applicable.

GDPR condition relied upon for processing personal data:

Article 6.1 e - Exercise of official authority

GDPR condition relied upon for processing special category data

Not applicable

Sharing of personal data with external recipients

We will make details of statutory planning applications and notifications available on our website so that people can view them and add their comments (

When you make a comment on a planning application or Policy Consultation, either in writing, by email or using the webform, we will collect your name, address and email address. This is because we may wish to contact you about your contribution. Your comment and your name will be published on the website against the relevant planning application or Policy Consultation. Your name is published so that it is easy to identify multiple comments from the same person. As the full content of your comment is published, you are advised not to include any information which could be considered personal to you or others.

We will not publish anything we consider to be unlawful, defamatory, libellous, obscene, offensive, scandalous or any material that encourages a criminal offence.

Once a planning application is decided, all comments are removed from the public website. Comments cannot re-used or transferred to other applications.

If an application is the subject of an appeal, your comment and your name will be re-published on the website for the duration of the appeal. Your information will be passed to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) for the purposes of determining the appeal. The Inspector may contact you about your contribution. Once the appeal is determined all comments are removed from the public website for good.

With regard to plan-making, your information will be shared with the Planning Inspector, if you submit comments on the pre-submission draft Plan.

We will sometimes need to share the information we have with other parts of the council (for example, to establish how long a building may have been used as a dwelling) and we may have to share your data with external bodies, such as Avon Fire and Rescue or the Police.

People who report breaches of planning (enforcement complaints) will be required to provide contact details, but these will not be shared with anyone outside B&NES Council.

How long is the personal data retained by the Council?

Applications for planning permission and other land or tree use consents and certificates: indefinitely

Neighbours' comments about planning applications: 12 months from decision or until an Appeal is concluded. Comments will be republished on the Planning Register in the event of an appeal

Pre-application advice: 15 years from issue

Enforcement notices: indefinitely

Enforcement correspondence: 15 years from receipt

General enquiries or service requests: 6 months from last contact

Comments responding to planning policy consultations: 15 years or once the relevant Plan has been adopted and superseded (whichever is the sooner)

We also operate a policy where we routinely redact the following details before making planning application forms and documents available online: personal contact details of the applicant (phone numbers, email addresses), full signatures, Special Category Data (such as supporting statements that include information about disability or financially sensitive information), and information we consider to be confidential.

Questions or concerns?

Please email 

Appeals to the Information Commissioner’s Office

If you are unhappy about the way we have treated your personal data, or feel we have not properly respected your data subject rights, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and tell them about this.

You can also contact the ICO by phone on 0303 1231113.