Development Management Privacy Notice

As the Local Planning Authority, Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils 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.

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, via our public access webpage 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.

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 Public Access website. We may publish comments and objections on our website, and this will include your name and 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. 

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;
  • 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.

The information you provide will only be used for these purposes and we will only contact you should we require further information about your application. All of your information will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations and may also be used by us to deliver and improve this service.

We will not disclose any personal information to any other third parties unless required to do so by law. For more information on how this is done click: How we use your information.

Your rights and how to find out more

Under the Data Protection Act, you can ask us for access to information that we hold about you. This is called a “data subject access request”; you will need to request this information in writing. To help you in this process we have prepared a Data Subject Access Request form that you can download and complete. You will be required to provide proof of identity e.g. passport or driving licence. We must respond to you within one month – if we feel the request is complex, we may ask for an extension of this period.

If the information is incorrect you must write to us and tell us what information is incorrect and ask that it be corrected. If we do not agree that the information is incorrect you may ask us to record your disagreement.

If you wish to complain about the way in which your request has been processed then your complaint will be dealt with as a stage two complaint in accordance with our complaints procedure.

If, after an internal review, you are still unhappy with the decision, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner, visit their page: Information Commissioner, report a concern

How can I contact you?

Please contact us if you have any questions about this privacy notice or information we hold about you by email or write to us at: Data Protection Officer, Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich, IP1 2BX

This version: v1.1, May 2023