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Planning privacy notice

We ask that you read this privacy notice carefully as it contains important information on who we are, how and why we collect, store, use and share personal information, your rights in relation to your personal information and on how to contact us and supervisory authorities in the event you have a complaint.

Who we are

The planning department for Dorset Council collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

Using our online planning system

When you use our online planning system you agree to abide by the following copyright notice and acknowledge our online policy below. The copyright in the maps, plans, drawings and information with an application may belong to another person whom is protected under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Section 47, 1988 Act). You may only use material which is downloaded and/or printed for consultation. Although this does not stop us from making the information available to you to inspect, it means that unless the Act allows you to copy the information, you must not copy it  without the permission of the person who owns the copyright.

If you make a comment on a planning application, please be aware that it will be made available for public viewing and should not contain any information that may be deemed offensive, or potentially offensive. The council reserves the right to remove comments that do not meet the requirements of the Equalities policy or to remove or not display certain planning application documentation for confidentiality or other reasons, for example medical information.

The information on these pages should not be used as a substitute for carrying out a formal Land Charge Search.

The personal information we collect

Information collected by us

For the purposes of service delivery it is necessary that we collect the following personal information from you:

  • name, telephone number, e-mail address, address
  • your comments on planning applications

Information collected from other sources

Information can be supplied to us via a planning agent on your behalf or we can receive it from The Planning Portal (a third party website) which provides a transaction service.

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information, in the manners specified below, in order to ensure that we are able to deliver the highest quality service to you:

  • making decisions and providing advice on planning applications
  • making planning policies
  • working with neighbourhoods and 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
  • we may also send out a follow-up “how did we do?” survey to a sample of people using our service to see how we can improve it

Sometimes we might decide it is necessary, justified and lawful to disclose data that appears in the list above. In these circumstances we will let you know of our intention before we publish anything.

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 let us know as soon as you can – ideally in advance of submitting the application. The best way to contact us about this issue is through  writing/emailing the Head of Planning. However, if the information you wish to provide is needed in  order to make a decision, it is unlikely that your request for confidentiality will be agreed as all decision making must be transparent.

We operate a policy where we routinely redact (blank out) the following details before making forms and documents available online:

  • personal contact details for the applicant – e.g. telephone numbers, email addresses
  • signatures
  • special category data – e.g. supporting statements that include information about health conditions or ethnic origin
  • information we agreed to be confidential.

Who we share your personal information with

We do not sell your information to other organisations. We do not move your information beyond the UK. We do not use your information for automated decisions making.

We will make details for planning applications available online so that people can contribute their comments. In event an application goes to appeal we will advise PINS of their interest in a case. We will sometimes need to share the information we have with other parts of the council - for example to establish how long a building has been used as a dwelling.

On occasion we may be required to share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law. Where this occurs we will attempt to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place.

We will not share your personal information with any other third party.

How long your personal information will be kept

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy. A brief summary of how long we keep things before they are destroyed:

  • statutory registers (e.g. planning decisions, approved plans, legal agreements) – forever
  • supporting documents, reports – 6 years for committee decisions, 6 years for officer decisions
  • representations, letters, general correspondence – 6 years
  • enforcement information about cases – 12 years

Reasons for collecting and using your personal information

As a local planning authority we rely on public task as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data.

On occasion where the service being provided falls outside of the services we are obliged to provide, we may instead rely on contract, consent or legitimate interest as the bases for processing your data.

Your rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have a number of important rights that may be exercised free of charge. In summary, those include rights to:

  • fair processing of information and transparency over how we use your use personal information
  • access to your personal information and to certain other supplementary information that this Privacy Notice is already designed to address
  • require us to correct any mistakes in your information which we hold
  • require the erasure of personal information concerning you in certain situations
  • receive the personal information concerning you which you have provided to us, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to a third party in certain situations
  • object at any time to processing of personal information concerning you for direct marketing
  • object in certain other situations to our continued processing of your personal information
  • otherwise restrict our processing of your personal information in certain circumstances

For further information on each of those rights you can visit the Information Commissioner's Office. You can also exercise any of those rights or find out more by visiting Data protection. Alternatively you can contact our Data Protection Officer.

In order that we can comply with such a request as soon as possible, it would be useful if you could provide the following information within your initial request:

  • enough information to identify you eg reference, account number, user  name, registration details
  • proof of your identity and address eg a copy of your driving licence or passport and a recent utility or credit card bill
  • the information to which your request relates

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

If you would to find out more about protecting your personal information, please visit Get Safe Online which is supported by HM Government and leading businesses.

How to complain

We hope that our Data Protection Officer can resolve any query or concern you raise about our use of your information.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was published on 1 April 2019. There are no amendments since publication, when amendments are made to this page we will update this section. We recommend that you review this section from time to time so that you are aware of the latest version of this notice.

How to contact us

Please contact our Data Protection Officer if you have any questions about this privacy notice or the information we hold about you.

Do you need extra help?

If you would like this notice in another format (for example: audio, large print, braille) please contact us.

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General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.