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Privacy notice - Development Control

Who are we and what do we do?


As the Local Planning Authority, Middlesbrough Council collects, processes and stores personal information about you in order to administer and assess planning applications, consider pre application proposals and deal with planning enforcement to fulfil certain legal obligations with respect to planning.

You should be aware that in submitting/commenting on a planning application or other applications dealt with by the local planning authority we publish certain information including personal information about applicants and interested parties, online and in a publicly accessible register.

We are also required to protect the natural environment including Tree Management and undertaking of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

We are committed to protecting your privacy, and this notice is made in light of the requirements of Data Protection Legislation in order to advise you how we use your personal information.

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?


We collect information from you when you submit a planning related application, supporting documentation, when you contact us about an existing application and in reporting alleged breaches of planning control. This includes contact by email, letter or telephone.

We may also receive information about you from third parties, including planning agents and interested parties who comment on your application.

In order to provide this service, we may need some or all of the following categories of personal information:

  • Your name, address, email address, telephone number and other contact information that allow us to meet our organisational and statutory obligations
  • Information relating to expressed opinions or intentions in respect of a planning related application
  • Any other information you provide to us during the application process/and your correspondence

We may collect your Personal Information in a number of ways, for example:

  • Application Form
  • Application submission documents
  • Pre Application enquiries – emails, telephone, letter,
  • Comments in relation to consultations
  • Other ways relating to the planning process
  • Complaint correspondence

How the Law allows us to use your personal information


We use the information we receive about you in order to administer building regulation related applications and determine their outcomes, and to fulfil our legal obligations around the process.

We do not use the information provided in the building regulation process for any other purposes unless we are required to do so by law.

Some of the laws that allow us to process your personal information include the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012.

What is your personal data used for?


We use the information we receive about you in order to administer planning related applications and determine their outcomes, and to fulfil our legal obligations around the planning process, and carry out the role of planning enforcement.

We do not use the information provided in the planning process for any other purposes unless we are required to do so by law.

Will your personal data be shared?


Information to be made publicly available

In order to comply with our statutory obligations, we must make certain details about planning 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. We may publish comments and objections on our website, and this will include your name and possibly your address. 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.

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. Comments and objections on applications do not form part of the statutory register, and as such we will only retain these for twelve months following a decision being made unless an appeal is lodged.

In order to protect your personal data from any unnecessary disclosure, we will remove personal telephone numbers, mobile numbers, email addresses and signatures from the information that may be viewed online, but we will not as standard remove these details where they relate to your professional capacity (e.g. as an agent).

We will also remove any sensitive personal data that is legitimately required in the application process, such as information about your health, prior to publication.

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

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 they do not want to be seen by the public. However, we have a legal duty to make available 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 (see our guidance on submitting an application or comment for more information);
  • 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;
  • When sending us comments or objections by email, we recommend that you include your comments in an attachment, so we can avoid publishing personal details such as your email address;
  • We do not require a signature on any correspondence you send, and recommend that you do not include this so as to avoid the possibility of this being copied for possible use in identity theft.

Sharing information with other organisations

We are required by law and good practice to undertake consultations with internal departments and external organisations and neighbours, to obtain their views on planning applications and pre application advice.  This involves sharing your submission details.

If an appeal is lodged against a decision we make, the Government’s Planning Inspectorate will ask for copies of all application correspondence, which may contain some personal information about applicants and third parties who have commented on the application.

We will share information related to proposed developments with the Council’s Building Control Service in order to provide comprehensive advice on the need for permissions relating to your development proposals.  If you do not want us to share this information please make it clear at the time of submission.

Planning Enforcement complaints and correspondence are treat as confidential information and are not published.

We will not share your information with any other organisations unless required to do so by law.

How do we keep your personal data secure?


We use a range of appropriate measures to ensure that your data is stored securely and only accessible by those who need to access it. However, as we are required to make certain information about planning related applications available to the public.

We also have a retention schedule and related processes in place to ensure that data we no longer require is either deleted from our systems or made sensitive (no longer publically viewable). A lot of information about planning related applications must be retained indefinitely (this is required by law).

How long will we keep your personal data?


After we deliver a service to you, we have to keep your information as a business record of what was delivered. The type service will determine how long we have to keep it. Our corporate retention guidelines show how long we keep it for different services. This ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records. 

The retention periods for this service are as follows.

  • Planning Register – Permanent
  • Consultation responses to application – 15 years
  • Pre Application Enquires and advice – 15 years
  • Enforcement Register – Permanent
  • Tree Preservation Orders – Permanent

  • Tree Safety – 5 Years

Is your personal data processed overseas?


The Council will not process your information overseas, however it may be necessary if requested by an external organisation under a legal requirement or at your request.  In any event we would ensure that your information is safe.



We will only send you information about our services and/or products if you have agreed for us to do so or we are sending you information in relation to similar services you have received in the past.  You can opt out of this at any time by letting us know by unsubscribing or replying with your request.

What are your information rights?


Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure - to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object - to how your data is used
  • Right to restriction - to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability - to request that we move your data to another organisation
  • Right of subject access - to request a copy of data the Council holds about you

Making a complaint


If you have a concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.



If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432
Email: dataprotection@middlesbrough.gov.uk