Planning Policy Privacy Notice

At West Somerset Council we take your privacy seriously and will only keep and use your personal information for reasons the law requires or allows.  We are a data controller for the personal information we hold about you in relation to Planning Policy.  In order to comply with data protection legislation we want to be sure you understand how we use this information.
 
The purposes for which the data will be used are:-
 
  • To maintain an up to date, confidential consultation data base so that we can ensure we are consulting those we are required to by law as listed in the relevant regulations, and anyone who has given their consent to us holding their data to enable us to keep them personally informed of consultations run by the planning policy team. Individuals can unsubscribe to this data base at any time.
  • For the formulation of Local Plans. Local Plans determine land use and planning policy for the area which then sets the context for making decisions on planning applications. The production of these is strictly regulated and we will consult on these using the information held on our   database. When you submit comments to a Local Plan consultation your name and your comments will be made public. All other personal information will be held confidentially. When we consult on the ‘proposed submission’ stage of the Local Plan (ie the version intended to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination in public), and on any subsequent modifications the information you submit when making your comments will need to be shared with the Planning Inspectorate. This will include personal information (name and contact details) so that they can contact you to enable you to participate in the examination process. We will make this clear on our consultation forms for this stage of the process.
  • For the formulation of Supplementary Planning Documents and other planning policy documents. These documents supplement and add detail to adopted policy in the Local Plan. We will consult on these using the information held on our planning policy database. When you submit comments your name and your comments will be made public. All other personal information will be held confidentially.
  • For revisions to the Statement of Community Involvement. This is a statutory document which we produce to show how we will engage the community in the planning process. When we make substantive changes to this we will publicly consult, using the information held on our planning policy consultation database. When you submit comments your name and your comments will be made public. All other personal information will be held confidentially.
  • For fulfilling our legal duties in relation to the production of .Neighbourhood Plans. Parish Councils or certain other community bodies can choose to produce these but the Council has a legal duty to consult at certain stages of the process and will use the planning policy consultation database for this purpose. When you submit comments your name and your comments will be made public. All other personal information will be held confidentially. Your personal data will not be shared with the appointed independent examiner.
  • Call for Sites submissions. Call for Sites forms part of the evidence base required for local plan preparation. Landowners, developers and agents are publicly invited to submit sites which they would be interested in developing to the local planning authority: details of site submissions will be not be confidential with the exception of personal data ie phone number, address / email address.
  • The Brownfield Land Register. Local Planning Authorities are legally required to maintain and publish a register of previously developed land. The brownfield register forms part of the evidence base required for local plan preparation. Landowners, developers and agents are publicly invited to submit sites via the Call for Sites process which they would be interested in developing to the local planning authority: details of site submissions will be not be confidential with the exception of personal data ie phone number, address / email address.
  • The Self Build and Custom Build register. This is a record of people wishing to build their own dwelling within the district.  In requesting to be added to the database, personal information is required which is set out in the Self-build and Custom Housebuilding (Register) Regulations 2016 which also sets out the process for removal from the register. Your personal information will not be published but data may need to be shared with other departments in helping the Council fulfil its duty in delivering sufficient plots.
  • Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans. It is the duty of the Local Planning Authority to formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the conservation areas and for their management. When we are required to consult on these we will use the information held in the planning policy consultation database. When you submit comments your name and your comments will be made public. All other personal information will be held confidentially.
  • Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule. This is a schedule of charges levied on certain types of development. When we review this we will be required to consult and will use the information held in the planning policy consultation database.
When you submit comments your name, and that of the person or organisation you represent will be published. All other personal information will be held confidentially. Where you are representing another person or organisation you will need to declare that you have their consent to submit comments on their behalf.  Comments will be made public and, because they are used to inform the development of policy, will not be able to be withdrawn once they have been processed and published.  Any comments received which are considered to be inflammatory, offensive or otherwise inappropriate will be rejected and will not be published. On occasions, rejected comments may appear in the form of redacted elements of your submission in those instances where this approach is considered to be appropriate.
 
The relevant legislation which say that we can carry out these functions and it is in the public interest are:
 
  • The Town and Country Planning Act 1990,
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004,
  • Planning Act 2008
  • Localism Act 2011,
  • Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015,
  • Housing and Planning Act 2016,
  • Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, 
  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
  • All associated Regulations
We are required by the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012  to hold and use some of your information for submission to the Planning Inspectorate in relation to the examination of a Local Plan, where this information has been submitted to us in accordance with Regulation 19 of the aforementioned Regulations (ie your consultation responses when we formally consult on the ‘Proposed Submission’ version of the plan).
 
How long we will keep your information; We only keep this data for the time specified in our retention schedule or as required by law.
 

Planning Representations 

 
All representations received in respect of a planning application will be processed in accordance with the The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.
 
In the case of Planning Representations we are required through national legislation, regulations and guidance to undertake public consultation at one or more stages, and to allow representations to be submitted to the Council and published as part of the transparency of the Planning decision process. For these consultations, a representation can only be considered to be valid if the representor(s) and their agent(s) provides us with some personal data such as their name, organisation (if applicable), postal address, (and email address so that we can contact them in relation to the representation).
 
Your personal data will therefore be used by West Somerset Council Planning Service to process your representations as required through national legislation, regulations and guidance.
 
Representations, including names, are published on our website. Before we publish any representations on our website we redact (‘blank out’) the following details:
 
  • personal contact details for the respondent and agent such as addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers;
  • signatures; and
  • sensitive personal data identified as special category data.
Your information could also be used to contact you regarding the application for the following reasons:-
 
  1. If the application is withdrawn
  2. If the application is revised
  3. If the application is being heard at a committee
  4. If an appeal is lodged
Information security and data sharing
 
Your information is stored securely. It may be necessary to share your personal data with other organisations or departments of the Council. For example sometimes we are bound by law to share data with other organisations, such as Government departments. We may also share your personal data when we feel there is a good reason, such as in relation to the prevention of fraud or detection of a crime. If there is a Planning Appeal then we will share your information with the Planning Inspectorate.
 
Data protection law provides you with certain rights, however not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations, particularly where we process your information as part of one of our statutory duties.  Where we are under a legal duty to use data for a particular purpose you will not have the right to prevent it being used in that way.
 
A full list of the rights you may have, under data protection law, is given in our main privacy notice.
 
If you wish to contact us in relation to any of your information rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer at DPO@westsomerset.gov.uk or Deane House, Belvedere Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1HE.
 
If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by the Council then please contact the Data Protection Officer in the first instance using the details above.  If you are not satisfied you can submit a formal complaint to the Council on our Complaints and Compliments page.
 
If you remain dissatisfied then you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit their website at ico.org.uk.