As the Local Planning Authority, Lancaster City Council collects, processes and stores personal information about you in order to administer and assess planning applications, and to fulfil certain legal obligations with respect to planning.
We are committed to protecting your privacy, and this notice is made in light of the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018 in order to advise you how we use your personal information.
Before contacting us about an application, you should be aware that we publish certain information about planning applications, including personal information about applicants and interested parties, online and in a publicly accessible register. Please see “Do we share your information with anyone else?” below for further details about what information will be published.
When do we collect personal information?
We collect information from you when you submit a planning related application and supporting documentation, or contact us about an existing application. This includes contact by email, letter or telephone.
We may also receive information about you from third parties, including planning agents and interested parties who comment on your application.
What personal information do we collect?
The types of personal information we collect may include:
- Basic personal information including name, address and contact details;
- Your occupation;
- Information about your health;
- Information relating to expressed opinions or intentions in respect of a planning related application;
- Any other information you provide to us during the application process.
How do we use your personal information?
We use the information we collect about you in order to administer planning related applications and determine their outcomes, and to fulfil our legal obligations around the planning process.
We do not use the information provided in the planning process for any other purposes unless we are required to do so by law.
We have a retention schedule and related processes in place to ensure that data we no longer need is deleted from our systems. A lot of information about planning related applications must be retained indefinitely (this is required by law).
Do we share your information with anyone else?
Information to be made publicly available
In order to comply with our statutory obligations we must make certain details about planning related applications available in the form of a public register. Regulations also permit and actively encourage this information to be made available online. This includes the name and address of the applicant and, where an agent is acting for the applicant, the name and address of that agent.
We will publish a copy of your completed application form and relevant supporting documents and drawings on our website. We may publish comments and objections on our website, and this will include your name and possibly your address. If the Council’s decision on the application is appealed, the Government’s Planning Inspectorate, who considers the appeal, will ask for copies of all application correspondence and they may also publish comments online.
The law requires us to maintain the information on the register of planning applications indefinitely, and as such information relating to applications will be available on our website permanently. Comments and objections on applications do not form part of the statutory register, and as such we will only retain these for twelve months following a decision being made unless an appeal is lodged.
In order to protect your personal data from any unnecessary disclosure, we will remove personal telephone numbers, mobile numbers, email addresses and signatures from the information that may be viewed online, but we will not as standard remove these details where they relate to your professional capacity (e.g. as an agent).
We will also remove any sensitive personal data that is legitimately required in the application process, such as information about your health, prior to publication.
We also reserve the right not to publish any documents containing perceived insulting, offensive, abusive or obscene comments.
In order to ensure that no unnecessary personal data is published online, please consider the following:
- We strongly recommend that you indicate any documents (in whole or in part) containing personal information that you they do not want to be seen by the public. However we have a legal duty to make certain details available so we cannot guarantee that such requests will be approved.
- Please do not include any information in your application, comments or supporting documents which is not required for the planning process (see our guidance on submitting an application or comment for more information);
- In particular please refrain from sending us sensitive information such as health or medical details where these are not required;
- Please also refrain from including personal information about other people in your correspondence with us;
- When sending us comments or objections by email, we recommend that you include your comments in an attachment, so we can avoid publishing personal details such as your email address;
- We do not require a signature on any correspondence you send, and recommend that you do not include this so as to avoid the possibility of this being copied for possible use in identity theft.
Sharing information with other organisations
If an appeal is lodged against a decision we make, the Government’s Planning Inspectorate will ask for copies of all application correspondence, which may contain some personal information about applicants and third parties who have commented on the application.
We sometimes pass your information to third party suppliers providing services such as data hosting, scanning and printing. These suppliers only use your data on our instructions. They won’t use it for any other reason, will look after it in the same way we would, and will destroy any personal data we share with them as soon as it is no longer required.
We will not share your information with any other organisations unless required to do so by law.
Your rights and how to find out more
You have a number of rights under data protection law, including the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, and the right to object to our use of your information in certain circumstances. For further information about your rights, how the Council uses your information, and how to get in touch if you have a query or complaint, please see the Council’s main privacy notice.
We reserve the right to amend this privacy notice at any time. However, we take your privacy very seriously and will never change our policies or practices to make them less protective of your personal information.
If we make any changes to this policy that significantly affect you, we will aim to notify you directly if we hold contact details for you. You will always be able to find the most up-to-date version of this policy on our website at this address: www.lancaster.gov.uk/privacy-dm.
This version: v3, October 2018
Last updated: 06 February 2020