Planning Privacy Notice

This privacy notice sets out how Ashford Borough Council (ABC) as the local planning authority may collect, use and share your personal information.

ABC's and its Data Protection Officer can be contacted at: The Data Protection Officer, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, TN23 1PL or you can email FOI@ashford.gov.uk.

The processing of personal data is governed, in the UK, by the General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR") 2016 and any national implementing laws (Data Protection Act 18), regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, and the regional supervisory authority is the Information Commissioner's Office.

We are registered with the Information Commissioner's Office with registration number Z8344724.

Processing activities

As a local planning authority our functions include the production and updating of a local plan and associated planning policy documents, providing advice and making decisions with regards to planning applications and investigating and enforcing breaches of planning control. 

Examples of areas where we may process personal information whilst fulfilling our function include:

  • applications (town & country planning and listed building & conservation areas and NSIPs)
  • permissions/consents
  • refusals
  • consultations
  • pre-application advice and guidance
  • appeals against refusal or planning permission and enforcement notices
  • determining applications for certificates of appropriate alternative development
  • determining applications for hazardous substances consent and revocations
  • applications for works to and removal of trees
  • investigating, enforcing and, if applicable, prosecuting for breaches of planning and control and criminal offences related to listed buildings
  • service of notices (town & country planning and listed building & conservation areas)
  • collection of community infrastructure levy
  • land ownership requisition(s)
  • general correspondence between you and us on matters related to the planning application service and/or planning policy function

How we get your information

We get applicant information in two ways – it is supplied to us directly (or via a planning agent on their behalf) or we receive it from a third party website that provides a transaction service, such as 'The Planning Portal'.

We also receive comments, representations, allegations and questions via email, letter and through our own online platform.

What personal information we collect

We may collect and hold the following personal information about you and/or your business/organisation whilst fulfilling our function:

  • your address, telephone number, email address (applicant and/or agent)
  • signatures
  • site address
  • health data
  • ethnicity
  • offence(s) data
  • land ownership details
  • record of fee payments (excluding debit/credit card details)
  • any details provided in your email or letters to us

If you contact us for any reason, we may retain copies of any letters, emails or online forms and may record telephone conversations with you.

Lawful bases for processing

We predominantly process personal information under the public interest task legal basis, where official authority is vested in us as the local planning authority. Examples include:

  • our legal obligation(s) under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • our legal obligation(s) under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
  • our legal obligation(s) under the Planning Act 2008
  • our legal obligations under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010

Sharing of personal information

We may share your information with a number of other organisations as part of the planning application process, for example, the Planning Inspectorate. We may also share information with the police to aid with the detection and prevention of criminal acts.

The Town and Country Planning Development Management Procedure Order 2015 require us to hold planning applications in a public register. Given the statutory status of the Register of Planning Applications, relevant regulations, and the public interest in making information on the processing of applications available, all information provided in application forms and in any accompany documents will normally be published on the council's website. Only telephone numbers, email contact details, and signatures, will be routinely blanked out. Personal sensitive information which is deemed necessary for the processing of the application will also not be published in the public domain but may be available in a redacted format, if requested.

We publish comments received in relation to applications under the town & country planning legislation on Public Access until such time as a decision is made. We also publish comments received on planning policy consultations.

If you wish to provide information in support of an application which you regard as sensitive or confidential, and which you do not wish to be published as set out above, this must be submitted as a separate document and clearly marked as such. Such information should not be embedded within larger documents where it will be more difficult to identify. You should include with any such separate document an explanation as to why you do not wish the document to be published. The council will consider the request and may need to contact you further regarding the request.

Retention period

Certain datasets, such as planning applications and enforcement files, are kept as a permanent record against the associated property.

How we protect your data

The data you provide is protected by rigorous measures and procedures to make sure it can't be seen, or accessed by, or disclosed to anyone who shouldn't be allowed to see it. We provide training to staff who handle personal data and treat it as a disciplinary matter if they misuse or do not look after your personal data properly.

Your rights

Unless subject to an exemption under data protection legislation, you have the following rights:

  • the right to access;
  • the right to rectification;
  • the right to erasure;
  • the right to restrict processing;
  • the right to object to processing;
  • the right to data portability;
  • the right to complain to a supervisory authority;
  • the right to withdraw consent

For further information about your individual rights, including how to contact Ashford Borough Council's Data Protection Officer, please see our data protection pages.

Right to Complain

We set ourselves high standards when it comes to protecting your personal data. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive from you about our use of your personal data very seriously and request that you bring any issues to our attention.

Where you are communicating with us for the purpose of making a complaint, we will only use your personal data to handle, investigate and respond to the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide.

If, having exhausted the complaint process, you are not content that your request or review has been dealt with correctly, you can appeal to the ICO to investigate the matter further by writing to:

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

Changes to our Data Protection Policy

We may update this policy from time to time by republishing a new version on our website.

You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes to this policy.