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Privacy notice for applicants and agents

Who we are

This privacy notice explains how the Greater Cambridge Planning Service uses information in the course of providing planning services to Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District Councils. This work includes:

  • Making decisions and providing advice on planning applications
  • Responding to allegations of unlawful development
  • Monitoring development
  • Entering legal agreements, serving notices and promoting the best use of land

How we receive information

We receive applicant information in two ways – it is either supplied to us directly (or via an agent on an applicant’s behalf) 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 online forms.

What we do with this information

To allow us to make decisions on applications, individuals must provide us with some 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 applicants or agents to “opt in” to allow this information to be used.

We also send out a follow-up “how did we do?” survey to people using our service to see how we can improve it.

We are obliged under the Town and Country Planning Act to hold a permanent record of our planning decisions. This information will include some personal data such as property addresses and contact details. Redacted copies of these documents are publically available on our website.  

We process this information as a (Public task) Statutory Duty as laid out in the Town and Country Planning Act and we cannot process your application unless you provide this personal information. If you do not provide it or if you refuse to allow us to share the information we will not be able to carry out the service for you.

We may process the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to government agencies, credit reference agencies, audit or other external bodies for such purposes. We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative.

As we process this information as a statutory duty, applicants and agents hold the following rights with regard to the personal data they provide us:

Right to Access – You have the right to access (receive a copy) of your personal data and supplementary information.

Right to Rectification – You have the right to have any inaccurate or incomplete personal data rectified.

Right to Restriction – You have the right to request a restriction of the processing of your personal data in situations where it is inaccurate, unlawful, and no longer needed for the purposes for which it was originally collected, or if a withdrawal of consent has been made.

How we share this information

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 decision making. We make details of planning applications available online so that people can contribute their comments.

We sometimes need to share the information we have with other departments within our Councils (e.g. to establish how long a building has been used as a dwelling) or with external consultees if a specialist opinion is required

In the event of an appeal, your details will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate may publish appeal documentation, including the application, on its website.

Redaction (‘blanking things out’)

We operate a policy where we routinely redact the following personal information 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 the agent or applicant know of our intention before we publish anything.

If you are submitting supporting information which you think should be treated confidentially or 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 applicationsupport@cambridge.gov.uk for Cambridge City applications and planning@scambs.gov.uk for South Cambridgeshire District applications.

Confidentiality requests will be assessed on a case by case basis and, if approved, the information will remain on our register but will not be accessible to the public without your approval.

Retention (‘how long we keep this information for’)

The Town and Country Planning Act requires us to hold most types of applications on our public register permanently. You can find out more by looking at the relevant sections in our retention policy [PDF, 667KB] and SCDC's privacy notice.

Complaints and problems

You can find out more about how we handle data by reading our privacy notice and SCDC's privacy notice.

If you think we have got something wrong or if you are concerned with the way we are handling your data please contact us by emailing planning@cambridge.gov.uk for Cambridge City applications or planning@scambs.gov.uk for South Cambridgeshire District applications. Alternatively you can call the telephone numbers above.

If you have a query regarding your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer by email infogov@3csharedservices.org, telephone 01954 713318 or by letter marked for the attention of the Data Protection Officer to either of the addresses above. 

If we fail to respond properly you can direct your concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 

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