This privacy notice is for Wirral Council’s Forward Planning team. It explains how we use information collected in the course of our work preparing the Council’s Local Plan and its associated documents including research and evidence-base documents, supplementary planning documents, annual monitoring reports and other land-use planning policy related documents and when preparing for, undertaking or reporting on the results of public and community consultation, some of which are required to meet specific statutory requirements. It also relates to our work supporting neighbourhood planning proposals prepared by the local community

Data Controller

Wirral Council is the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. Issues of how data is handled are dealt with by the Council's Data Protection Officer Jane Corrin who can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 1AH.

Processing personal data by consent

Our Lawful bases for processing personal data:  You have consented to provide (GDPR) Article 6 (1) (a)

You or the organisation you represent may have previously asked a question about or requested to be updated on progress with the forthcoming Local Plan or another related land-use planning policy document or may have previously responded to an earlier consultation exercise and with your written consent, we have added the details to the Team’s consultation database to ensure you are kept informed of future progress and of the Council’s response to the comments that have been submitted.

Your personal information which is held by the Forward Planning Team may be received by email, by post and through our software systems.  It may also be obtained through general correspondence or dealing with document sales. 

Some personal details are from searching for publicly available information from the internet which is related to planning statements or opinions.

Where you have provided your consent for us to notify you, you have the right to withdraw your consent and have these personal details removed.  You can do this by email to: [email protected] or by writing to: Forward Planning Manager, PO Box 290, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH27 9FQ.

What is the purpose for your consent?

To enable us to ensure that you or the organisation you represent who has an interest in the Local Plan and other related land-use planning policy documents are kept up-to-date with each stage of the Plan’s development. This will afford you the chance to engage with the various consultation exercises associated with the production of an updated Local Plan or other related planning policy document.

Processing personal data as part of a public consultation

Our lawful bases for processing personal data as part of a consultation: Performance of a task in the public interest (GDPR 6 (1) (e)

As part of the Council’s statutory duties under the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, the Forward Planning team are required to consult specific consultation bodies that the Local Planning Authority consider may have an interest in the subject of the proposed local plan; general consultation bodies that the Local Planning Authority consider appropriate; and such residents or other persons carrying on business in the Local Authority’s area from which the Local Planning Authority consider it appropriate to invite representations.

Information resulting from this process will be held by the Forward Planning team in the Team’s consultation database and in the records of any comments and/or representations that were received.

To allow us to respond to their representations individuals must provide us with sufficient personal data (e.g. name, address, contact details). In a small number of circumstances individuals may also by explicit consent (GDPR Article 9(2)(a)) provide us with “special category data” in support of their representations (e.g. evidence of race, medical history or disability) this information will not be published.

We use the information provided to us to make decisions about the use and allocation of land in the public interest and to advise Elected Members, take decisions and inform the preparation and content of the Local Plan.

Some information provided to us we are obliged under national regulations to make available as part of public reporting on the results of public consultation. The results will be held as a permanent record of our planning decisions associated with each planning policy document prepared.

As part of the Council’s statutory duties under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and related regulations we collect information about you to demonstrate that your comments have been taken into consideration, that the comments received (as a whole) are representative of the local community and that any statutory requirements have been appropriately met. We use the information we collect about you to fulfil our legal obligations around the planning process.

What personal information do we collect from you?

  • names
  • addresses
  • telephone numbers
  • email addresses
  • who the individual / organisation may be acting for
  • the section of the community that they are likely to represent
  • other location-specific data pertaining to sites or requirements being considered for inclusion in relevant policy documents
  • information relating to the content of the representations made

What we do with your information

In order to comply with statutory obligations, Wirral Council has a duty to consult as widely as possible on the Local Plan and other related land-use planning policy documents, including any emerging neighbourhood planning proposals.

Where people have registered their contact details on our consultation database and have provided us with personal information, we will only use this to make them aware of new documents and or stages involved in the preparation of planning policy documents in which they may have an interest. Personal data, held on the consultation database, will only be used for this purpose and will not be shared with third parties.

Where an individual or organisation has made representations about any policy or policy-related document, we will hold a record of this. Where possible, if we need to publish this information we will redact any personal information. However, consultees should be aware that the Council may not always be able to keep their names or comments confidential as they may be required to be reported to the Council’s Elected Members and may need to be made available to a person appointed to carry out an independent examination of any statutory document, such as the Local Plan or a statutory neighbourhood planning proposal or to carry out a public inquiry, hearing or appeal into a site specific planning proposal, who will ask for copies of all relevant correspondence and may publish them in their report and on-line.

In order to comply with our statutory obligations we must make certain details about any representations submitted available for public inspection. Regulations also permit and encourage this information to be made available online. This may include the name and address of the respondent and, if an agent is acting for the applicant, the name and address of that agent.

We may need to publish a copy of your completed representation and any relevant supporting documents and drawings on our website and provide copies to any third parties who enquire about those representations.

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 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 comments or supporting documents which is not required for the planning process. In particular please refrain from sending us sensitive information such as health or medical details where these are not required as part of the issue or policy document being considered.

Please also refrain from including personal information about other people in your correspondence with us.

We reserve the right not to publish any documents containing perceived insulting, offensive, abusive, obscene, prejudiced or discriminatory comments.

Personal data will be held securely by the Council. We have a data protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal information, and also utilise appropriate technical safeguards to keep your information secure.

Who might we share your information with?

Contact information you have consented to provide

This personal contact information held in the Forward Planning Team’s consultation database will not be shared with external bodies or third party organisations. It is not viewable online. If the information is requested by another individual or organisation, for example with regard to the development or amendment of a planning proposal which could be of interest to you, we will contact you for your permission before providing it.

Information you have provided as part of a consultation

We will sometimes need to share the consultation information we have with other parts of the Council, such as Elected Members or with consultants employed as the Council’s agents or to undertake elements of the work on behalf of the Council, who will also be required as part of any contract with them to keep the information confidential.

We will also sometimes need to share the information we have with a person appointed to carry out the independent examination of emerging proposals or any public inquiry, hearing or appeal.

Information that has been published as part of a representation submitted to the Council on a planning policy-related document can normally be viewed online or a hard copy can be viewed in full in person by appointment at our offices.

We will sometimes need to publish the comments received so that other people can inspect them and also contribute their own comments.  Summarised comments may also be included in reports to the Council’s Cabinet or Committees or in Delegated Decision reports.

We operate a policy where we routinely redact the following details before making forms and documents available online or in hard copy for public inspection:

  • personal contact details such as telephone numbers or email addresses
  • signatures
  • special category data - e.g. supporting statements that include information about health conditions or ethnic origin
  • information agreed to be confidential

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 public inspection, please let us know as soon as you can - ideally in advance of submitting the document or representation.

The best way to contact us about this issue is by email to: [email protected]

Your information (excluding signatures or personal contact details) may also be shared when we consult statutory, external and internal consultees for their views on any emerging proposals.

We will not share your information for marketing purposes with companies outside of the authority.

We do not sell your information to other organisations. We do not use your information for automated decision making.

Do third parties have access to my information?

Personal contact information contained within the Forward Planning Team’s consultation contact database will not be shared with external bodies or third party organisations. It is not viewable online. If the information is requested by another individual or organisation, we will contact you for your permission before providing it.

Any representations received by the Forward Planning Team, including any associated personal information, will be reported to Elected Members and may need to be given to any person appointed to undertake the independent examination of any emerging proposals or a public inquiry, hearing or appeal.

Information that has been published as part of a representation submitted to the Council in the process of preparing a planning policy document will normally be able to be viewed online and a hard copy of the representation will be able to be viewed in full in person by appointment at our offices.

How long do we keep your information?

Personal contact details you have provided to ensure you are engaged in Wirral Council planning will be held until you withdraw your consent.

Personal data and copies of any relevant representations will be held securely by the Council, for as long as they are required to support the contents of the documents being prepared and adopted.

Personal data and copies of any relevant representations will only be destroyed once the document or policy to which they related has been formally withdrawn or replaced.

Information provided by way of general correspondence, un-related to any specific policy or document will normally be destroyed at the end of 4 years.

Information related to document sales, including names, addresses and records of receipts and payment details will be held in line with the Council’s Records Retention and Destruction Policy which is available on Wirral Council’s website.

Will my data be transferred abroad and why?

This service does not transfer personal information outside the European Economic Area (EEA).  If ever a situation arose that your personal information might be transferred outside of the EEA, you would be notified beforehand and consent sought if required and recorded, providing that does not conflict with a legal obligation imposed upon the Council. 

What rights do I have when it comes to my data?

Right to be informed – This Privacy Notice informs you of the processing of your data and your rights in respect of that data. See also Wirral Council’s Principal Privacy Notice

Right to rectification – you have the right to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

Right to restrict processing – you have the right to block or suppress processing of your data; however this right does not apply in some circumstances.

Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain and reuse your data for your own purposes (copy or transfer personal data to another environment) in certain circumstances.

Right to object to processing - (to certain types of processing only).

Right of access – Information which is publically available need not be provided.  However if you are unsure what information the Council holds about you can make a subject access request.

For details on how you can access your personal information see our Data Protection Policy.

If you would like to make a request for a copy of your personal data email: [email protected]

Or write to: Information Manager, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 1AH.

Alternatively the Information Commissioner regulates data handling by organisations in the U.K. and work to uphold the data rights of citizens and the Information Commissioner's website provides more information on the rights available to you.

The right to complain about data handling

The Council sets very high standards for the collection and appropriate use of personal data. We therefore take any complaints about data handling very seriously. We encourage you to bring to our attention where the use of data is unfair, misleading or inappropriate and we also welcome suggestions for improvement.

Informal resolution

In the first instance we would ask that you try and resolve data handling issues directly with us before applying for a formal resolution. Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right to erasure or 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 ask us by email to: [email protected] or by writing to: Forward Planning Manager, PO Box 290, Brighton Street, Wallasey, CH27 9FQ.

Formal resolution

If you are dissatisfied with the informal resolution of your complaint you can request a review by the Data Protection Officer Jane Corrin by email [email protected] or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral. CH41 1AH

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal complaint, you can lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Changes to our Privacy Notice

We regularly review our privacy notice and encourage you to check it from time to time. This notice was last updated in June 2018.