Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

Planning service privacy notice

1. Council contact details

1.1. West Northamptonshire Council

Registered Office:

One Angel Square
Angel Street

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0300 126 7000


1.2. Include the service area contact details if a shared mailbox.

Each area office within the Planning Service has its own shared mailbox as follows:

2. Information that we hold

We currently collect and process the following information for functions carried out by our Planning Service:

  • names, addresses and contact details (phone numbers and email addresses) of applicants, agents, representatives, public contributors, complainants and enquirers
  • property or site details
  • medical or health information where this is relevant
  • details of race and ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs

3. How the information is obtained

3.1. Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you or your representative for one of the following reasons:

  • as part of an application
  • by contributing to applications and consultations
  • to make an enquiry, request or complaint
  • to report alleged breaches of planning control
  • to comment on planning policy documents, the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plans
  • to register an interest in self and custom build housing
  • to request regular communications and updates
  • in creation or updates to a legal agreement, such as a Section 106 agreement
  • in processing Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) applications during and after a planning application

We also receive personal information indirectly, from the following sources in the following scenarios:

  • Land Registry enquiries, to identify landowners, investigate allegations and serve notices
  • DVLA data enquiries, to identify vehicle keepers
  • complainants, reporting alleged breaches of planning control
  • special category information such as political opinions, race or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs can be implicated within an application but not explicitly requested by the council eg a representative of a religious organisation submitting a planning application

3.2. There are a number of reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. Generally, we collect and use personal information when:

  • it is necessary to meet our legal obligations set out in law
  • we are carrying out a task which is in the public interest which is supported in law
  • you have requested a service from us
  • you, or your legal representative, have given us your consent
  • on the basis of substantial public interest, when processing special category data, which will be proportionate to the aim pursued

The legislation which supports this processing is:

  • Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
  • Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003
  • Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • Electronic Communications Regulations
  • Environment Act 1995
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017
  • Environmental Information Regulations 2004
  • Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990
  • Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
  • Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  • Self Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015
  • The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (as amended)

4. What we do with the information

4.1 We use the information that you have given us in order to:

  • consider and determine applications
  • assess fee exemptions using health data
  • advise you of and carry out consultations
  • provide updates
  • carry out investigations and enforcement action
  • tell you the outcome of an application, enquiry, request or investigation
  • notify you of the date of public meetings
  • notify you if an appeal is received
  • issue and serve notices
  • identify the demand for self and custom build housing

Failure to provide data:

  • such as the applicants name or other relevant information will mean your application cannot be processed
  • anonymous comments may not be considered and the contributor will not be kept up to date
  • anonymous complaints relating to alleged breaches of planning control will not be investigated

4.2. Information may be shared in the following circumstances:

Planning applications:

Applicants’ contact information (phone numbers and email addresses) and signatures are not disclosed.

Information provided for planning matters is made available:

  • for public viewing online via our website or by visiting the council offices
  • to statutory consultees and public bodies being consulted, to assist in determining an application – list available at: Consultation and pre-decision matters - GOV.UK
  • to neighbouring properties as notification of an application
  • to the Planning Inspectorate - in the case of an appeal
  • to consultants and contractors providing services to the Council

Comments from contributors to applications:

  • comments will be published online and be available for the public to view, but all personal and sensitive information will be redacted (such as contributors’ names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and signatures)
  • comments will be used by the planning officer and comments summarised in the delegated or committee report when making their decision
  • Please do not include any of your personal data within the text of your comment itself as these will be publicly available on request
  • all comments are provided to the Planning Inspectorate in the case of an appeal

Planning Enforcement:

  • the council will seek to maintain the confidentiality of a complainant at all times - where an enforcement investigation proceeds to court, it may be necessary to identify the complainant
  • a register of Enforcement, Stop, etc notices is maintained and is available for public inspection
  • neighbours, Ward Councillors and other interested parties are informed in the case of an appeal
  • the Planning Inspectorate – in the case of an appeal
  • a copy of any information given to the Planning Inspectorate must be sent to the appellant

Planning Policy:

Location addresses of contributors are made public, however names, exact addresses and contact information are withheld

  • comments received on Planning Policy consultations are open to public inspection
  • comments received on the Local Plan are shared in full with the Planning Inspectorate

Important: Applications and comments are checked for sensitive information before publication however we strongly recommend that you indicate documents in whole, or in part which contain personal information you do not wish to be made public.

We have a legal duty to make certain information available and cannot guarantee all such requests will be approved. Please do not provide information such as health or medical information where it is not required.

Please also refrain from including personal information or comments about other people unless they have given their consent for you to do so and you can provide evidence of their consent.

5. How long we keep your information for and how we securely dispose of it after use

5.1. We keep your personal information for the purpose of planning matters in line with the council’s retention schedules. Statutory registers such as planning decisions, approved plans and legal agreements are kept forever.

Other supporting documents, reports, comments, letters of complaint or other types of correspondence vary in their retention schedule. Special category data to determine fee exemption will only be held until the exemption is confirmed.

5.2 We will securely dispose of your information in line with the Council's Retention Schedules.

6. How we store your information

6.1. Your information is securely stored electronically on the council’s systems. Where hard copy files are also maintained these are held in a secure environment.

7. Your data protection rights

7.1. The law gives you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how we can use it. Please see section 15 of the council’s Privacy Policy for further information.

7.2. Please be aware that your rights may differ depending on the lawful basis for processing your personal data.

7.3. The right to withdraw consent

7.3.1. You can ask that we no longer use your details for keeping in contact with you, for example if you receive regular updates regarding planning applications. If you wish to exercise this right, please contact the Data Protection Officer.

8.1. Who to contact

8.1 If you would like further information about how we use your personal information, or you wish to exercise one of your data rights or you wish to complain about the use of your personal information please contact the Data Protection Officer.

8.2. If you are still dissatisfied once you have contacted the Data Protection Officer, you have the right to complain to the ICO.

The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

9 Changes to this privacy notice

9.1 Privacy notices are live documents, which will be updated or revised in line with legislation.

Last updated 14 August 2023