Your privacy and planning

Planning privacy statement

Who we are

We are the planning department for Central Bedfordshire Council.

We deal with:

This privacy notice explains how we use information in the course of our work as a local planning authority. This work includes

  • making decisions and providing advice on planning applications
  • making planning policies
  • working with neighbourhoods on their plans
  • working with neighbouring authorities on strategic policies
  • responding to allegations of unlawful development
  • monitoring development
  • entering legal agreements, serving notices and promoting the best use of land

If you have questions about data or privacy contact our information governance team:

Telephone: 0300 300 5765
Email: information.governance@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

How we get your information

We receive applicant information either directly from the applicant or via a planning agent on their behalf). Information is provided to us via:

  • the Planning Portal
  • email
  • paper copy
  • online form
  • direct secure access to our document management system
  • consultation portal

We also receive comments, representations, allegations, requests and questions via our online planning register consultation portal, email, letter and online forms and payments via the planning portal online payment portal, our own online payment portal, via BACS and cheques.

What we do with your information

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 requires that public consultation be carried out as part of the decision-making process for planning applications. The Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 set out the procedure for the adoption of a local plan, which too requires various stages of consultation.

To allow us to make decisions, we must be provided with relevant personal data. In a small number of circumstances individuals will provide us with “special category data” in support of their application (e.g. evidence of medical history).

Processing of personal data is necessary to allow us to evaluate the impact of any development or policies in the Local Plan when undertaking its planning functions. For example, the address of a representor’s property may be relevant in this context.  Representations which are entirely anonymised are unable to be given any substantive weight in the process since it is not possible to establish the harm or otherwise from a scheme to the representor’s property or amenities where the location of the property is not disclosed.

We are obliged under the regulations to make some information available on our planning register. This is a permanent record of our planning decisions that form part of the

planning history of a site, along with other facts that form part of the “land search”.

Your contact details and comment are recorded on our secure planning system.

If you have requested to be entirely anonymised, only your comment will be recorded.

If you have submitted an anonymous comment, we will not be able to inform you of any committee and/or appeal details.

We operate a policy where we do not publish any neighbour comments on our website. Our online planning register records numbers of objections, in support and general comment received. No neighbour addresses are published.

How we share your information

We will make details of planning applications available online so that people can contribute their comments. We will sometimes need to share the information we have with other teams within the council, to receive comments related to the decision-making process.

If we receive a request to reveal neighbour comments

On receipt of a request, we operate a policy where we redact the following details before making forms and documents available either in person or online:

  • personal contact details for the applicant - e.g. telephone numbers, email addresses
  • signatures
  • images from which a person can be identified, i.e. car registration plates
  • Special Category Data - e.g. supporting statements that include information about health conditions or ethnic origins
  • information agreed to be confidential

If you are submitting supporting information which you would like to be treated confidentially or wish to be specifically withheld from the public register, please label this appropriately.

Retention (‘how long we keep your information for’)

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy. Here is a brief

summary of how long we keep things before they are destroyed:

  • planning policy consultation – 15 years
  • all records relating to applications, including legal agreements, statutory registers – permanent
  • planning performance agreement where an application matching the site has been received – permanent
  • planning performance agreements where no application has been received – 3 years
  • pre-application advice documentation where an application matching the site has been received – permanent
  • application advice where no application has been received – 5 years
  • planning appeals documentation – permanent
  • planning enforcement notices and related documentation – 10 years
  • general enquiries – 1 year

Complaints

Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right to withdraw consent. However, if you think we have got something wrong or there is a reason you would prefer for something to not be disclosed please contact us:

Telephone: 0300 300 5765
Email: information.governance@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

If you need to make a complaint specifically about the way we have processed your data, you should in the first instance use our corporate complaints policy.

If after receiving our response to your concern you are still unhappy with how your data has been handled, you should direct your concerns to the Information Commissioner's Office (link opens in new window)

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