Wirral Council Development Management privacy notice explains how we use information in the course of our work as a local planning authority.

Who is the Data Controller for the information I provide?

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.

How we get your information?

We get applicant information in two ways – it is supplied to us directly (or via a planning agent) or we receive it from a third party website that provides a transaction service. These include:

  • the planning portal
  • iApply

We also receive comments, representations, allegations and questions via email, letter, and through our software systems.

Why do we collect this information?

To allow us to make decisions on their applications individuals must provide us with sufficient personal data (e.g. name, address, contact details). 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).

We use the information provided to us to make decisions about the use of land in the public interest. This is known as a “public task” and is why we do not need you to “opt in” to allow your information to be used.

Some information provided to us we are obliged under the regulations to make available on planning registers. 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”.

As part of the Council’s statutory duties under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 we collect information about you to process all types of planning and related applications to determine whether planning permission or similar consents should be granted. Data provided as part of the planning and related application process will be used as part of the Council's work with regard to the monitoring, implementation and enforcement of planning permissions and investigations into breaches of planning control. 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
  • signatures
  • other location data pertaining to your planning application
  • information relating to representations made or intentions in respect of planning and related applications
  • any other information you may provide to us during the application process including information about your health or personal circumstances

What we do with your information?

In order to comply with our statutory obligations we must make certain details about planning and 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 website. If you make representations on an application, we will publish your stance and address online. 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.

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 application, 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.

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 or obscene comments.

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. Enforcement complaints are retained permanently as the records are necessary to inform the planning process.

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?

This information forms part of a public register and can be viewed online or the hard copy case file can be viewed in full in person by appointment at our offices.

As part of the process we are required to carry out publicity on applications which may include publication in local newspapers or display of notice on site. Notices published in local newspapers will include names and addresses of the applicant. Notices displayed on site will include names and addresses of applicant and agent.

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 parts of the council-for example to establish how long a building has been used as a dwelling.

All comments received are also available for inspection. Summarised comments may also be included in reports to the Council’s Planning Committee or in Delegated Decision reports.

We operate a policy where we routinely redact 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 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 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 by email to [email protected]

Your application information (excluding signatures or personal contact details for the applicant) will be shared when we consult statutory, external and internal consultees for their views on the proposal.

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?

As part of maintenance and software support the contracted company may have access to your data in order to carry out their duties but such arrangements are subject to data processing agreements with strict rules on processing to keep the data secure.

However information on the public register is available for all to view but cannot amend.

We may share personal data with other services within the Council, and with third parties including the Planning Inspectorate for the purposes of determining planning and related applications and enforcement appeals.

We may share data with the Police and other third parties to identify and deter criminal activity.

How long do we keep your information?

The information included as part of the public register is retained permanently under planning legislation as part of the public record.

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy. A brief summary of 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, 4 years for officer decisions
  • representations, letters, general correspondence – 4 years 

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 – through this 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 or you have any concerns about any aspect of Data Protection email           
[email protected] or write to: Data Protection Officer, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral. CH41 1AH

For more information on your Personal Data Rights see Wirral Council’s Principal Privacy Notice. 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: Development 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 May 2018.