Publishing representations online

Personal data

The documentation for planning applications and any representations received in response to them must be made available for public inspection, in accordance with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985. Provision is made within the Data Protection Act 1998 for publishing such information. This means that we cannot treat such documentation or representations as confidential. We will redact email addresses, telephone numbers and signatures before publishing representations online, but the name and postal address of the author will not be removed. Please do not include other personal or sensitive data within your representations.

The name and postal address of those making representations is crucial so that the Council may establish who and where representations come from so comments can be afforded full weight and for transparency. If you do not want your name and address to be published or do not provide both a name and postal address your comment will be treated as anonymous. Any anonymous representations will be given little or no weight in the decision making process.

Planning petitions should include a data protection statement which includes clarification that all those who have signed the petition are aware that their information will be placed in the public domain. We suggest that you include a statement on your petition to notify those who sign the petition that their information will be placed in the public domain and that they should not include personal information about a third party.

Discriminatory, offensive or defamatory representations

Only comments made on material planning grounds will be taken into consideration when assessing a planning application. If we receive comments about a planning application that are considered to be discriminatory, offensive or defamatory, these remarks will not be included in any reports or published on the Council's website. A discriminatory representation is one which could include words, phrases or comments which are likely to:-

  • Be offensive to a particular group;
  • Be abusive, insulting or threatening;
  • Apply pressure to discriminate; or
  • Stir up hatred or contempt of a particular part of the community.

Representations should also not include any other offensive material or content which could be considered defamatory. Any discriminatory, offensive or defamatory representations may be returned to the author with a request that they be resubmitted containing only material planning considerations. We reserve the right to withhold from publication on this website any comments or parts of comments not considered suitable for public view.

Responding to representations

The Council does not respond individually to representations made in respect of planning applications. The appropriate means to respond to representations is through the officer report on the planning application, which will take into account all representations made on material planning grounds and all other relevant information. The publication of the representation on the Council’s website should be taken as acknowledgement of receipt.

Any number of representations, if they come from a single address, will be deemed a single representation. This this can result in the number of comments received shown in the Comments tab on the Council’s Public Access system not tallying with a count of the document type ‘Representation’ within the Documents tab. This may also be the case where representations have been submitted but have not yet been uploaded. It can take up to 5 working days from receipt to the representation appearing on our website and might take longer during periods of peak demand and site maintenance. Please note that the number in the Comments tab will be the number reported and used to determine whether the trigger for an application being heard at Committee has been met.