Planning Applications - Privacy Notice

We are the planning department for The Council of the Isles of Scilly. 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 and local plans
  • 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: 

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 platform(s) including by email and directly through our website.

What we do with your information

To allow us to make decisions on their 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. The lawful basis for this is known as a ‘public task’ and is why we do not need your explicit consent for your information to be used.

Some information provided to us we are legally obliged 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’.

How we share your 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 we receive available online so that other people can contribute their comments. Please note:

  • We do publish the name of the person applying for planning permission along with the address
  • We don’t publish their signature, contact details (email or telephone number)
  • We do publish comments received on planning applications by members of the public. We redact some details of the comments, such as email addresses and telephone numbers.
  • We do publish comments received on planning applications by amenity groups and statutory consultees

We send some planning applications to our statutory consultees for their advice on safety, infrastructure and other matters. 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.

In circumstances where a planning application is appealed, we are required to share data from a planning application with the Planning Inspectorate, which includes any comments made by statutory consultees and members of the public. We also share information with the Planning Inspectorate when they examine our local plan. This includes the names of site promoters and people submitting representations on the plan.  

We are currently considering sending out a follow-up ‘how did we do?’ survey to a sample of people using our service (eg by submitting or commenting on a planning application) to see how we can improve it.

Redaction (‘blanking things out’)

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

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

We process many different types of information according to our retention policy. A brief summary of long we keep things before they are usually destroyed:

  • Statutory registers (e.g. planning decisions, approved plans): for ever
  • Supporting documents, reports: 6 years for committee decisions, 4 years for officer decisions
  • Representations, letters, general correspondence: 4 years

Some supporting documents relating to major or otherwise significant developments may not be destroyed but instead removed from public registers.

Complaints and problems

Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right to withdraw consent for your data to be processed. 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

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 which is online  If we fail to respond properly you can direct your concerns to the Information Commissioners Office.