Stay up to date on news, events and services in Sefton by subscribing to the My Sefton e-news bulletin. Sign up is quick and easy to do.

Sign up

How we use your personal information in Planning

We are the planning department for Sefton council. This privacy notice explains how we use information in the course of our work as a local planning authority. This work includes

  • Making decisions and providing advice on planning applications
  • Making planning policies
  • Working with neighbourhoods on their plans
  • Working with neighbouring authorities on strategic policies
  • Responding to allegations of unlawful development
  • Monitoring development
  • Entering legal agreements, serving notices and promoting the best use of land

If you have questions about data or privacy contact our data protection officer 

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, for example The Planning Portal.

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

Plan Making

To allow us to prepare plans (such as Local Plans) and supporting documents (such as Supplementary Planning Documents and Information Notes) and to support Neighbourhood Planning, various consultation activities are undertaken. When responding individuals must provide us with some personal data (eg name, address, contact details) which may be passed on to interested third parties such as Planning Inspectors, Examiners and other statutory organisations.

We use the information provided as part of a statutory procedure to help inform the production of the plan or document. 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 the web site. This is to allow others to see the comments made.

We use the information provided to us to make decisions about the use of land in the public interest.  It is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

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.

To allow us to make decisions on their applications individuals must provide us with some personal data (eg name, address, contact details). In a small number of circumstances individuals will provide us with “special category data” in support of their application (eg 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.

We are obliged, under the regulations, to make some information provided to us 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”.

Under data protection legislation, you have the right to request access to information that we hold.  To make a request for your personal information please contact

Data Protection Officer

0345 140 0845

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority (the Information Commissioner’s Office)

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at


Under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, any information that we produce, hold or disseminate within our public task must be re-useable by members of the public unless the information is restricted or excluded. Find out more.


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

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.

If representations are made on a planning application, we will redact personal details on our website, however, the original document, which includes personal details, will be held on part 2 of the planning register. The register can be inspected at Magdalen House on request. We will send unredacted information to the Planning Inspectorate and the applicant/agent if the application is appealed.  

We will send you details of Building Control services and we may send a planning guide via a third party.  Your personal details will not be shared with the third party.

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

We operate a policy where we routinely redact the following details before making forms and documents available online:

  • Personal contact details for the applicant and agent - 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 at

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy.

Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right 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 emailing us at

If you need to make a complaint specifically about the way we have processed your data you should in the first instance use our corporate complaints policy. If we fail to respond properly you can direct your concerns to the Information Commissioners Office

Last Updated on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Recite Me Button