Planning privacy

This page explains how we protect your privacy in relation to planning matters.

Who we are and contact details

We are the Broads Authority which is a body corporate established by the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 (as amended).

Our main address is Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich, Norfolk. NR1 1RY and our telephone number is 01603 610734.

For the purposes of this notice, our contact details are our Data Protection Officer who is based at Yare House and who can be contacted at

Collection of personal information or data

This privacy notice applies to the Broads Authority’s function as a local planning authority and the personal information (or “data”) which we obtain and process as part of this work. The work we carry out includes:

Developing planning policies, which includes the consultation process on draft policies;

  • Working with neighbouring authorities on strategic policies;
  • Working with neighbourhoods on their plans;
  • Providing advice on development proposals;
  • Making decisions on planning applications;
  • Entering into legal agreements;
  • Responding to allegations of unlawful development;
  • serving legal notices in respect of unlawful development;
  • Monitoring development

We obtain personal information in the following ways:

  • Directly from an applicant or their agent
  • Through a third-party site such as The Planning Portal or iApply
  • From receiving comments, representations, allegations and questions via email, letter and through our online platforms
  • From telephone calls

Lawful basis for processing

We need to have a lawful basis upon which to process your personal information. That basis is that we carry out tasks in the public interest or on the basis of power vested in us as a local planning authority (“public task” basis).

What we do with your information

To allow us to make decisions on their planning applications, individuals must provide us with some personal data (e.g. name, address and contact details). In a small number of circumstances individuals will provide us with “special category data” in support of their application.  This might include personal data, for example about their medical history or particular family circumstances.

We also receive information from members of the public in response to consultations on planning applications.  This might also include personal data, for example about how they consider that a development proposal may affect them.

We also receive information from members of the public in response to consultations on planning policy.  This information might be submitted as part of a proposal to identify land for development, or in response to such proposals.

We use the information provided 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” or give specific consent to allow your information to be used.

Some information provided to us we are obliged under planning law and regulations 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”.

We would strongly recommend that you do not send us personal data, for example about your medical history or family circumstances, unless it is essential that we know this in order to consider your representations or requests.  This data is usually considered as ‘Special Category Data’ under the GDPR and we are not allowed to publish it.

How we share your information

We do not sell your information to other organisations. We do not move your information outside the UK. 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 also publish data on the responses to consultations on planning policy.   We will sometimes need to share the information we have with other parts of the Authority, for example to establish how long a building has been used as a dwelling.

We may subsequently send out a survey of those using our service to establish how we might improve it.

Redaction (blanking things out)

We operate a policy where we routinely redact the following information:

  • Personal contact details such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses (but not property address)
  • Signatures
  • Special Category Data e.g. supporting statements that include specific information about health conditions or ethnic origin.
  • Information which you indicate is confidential and where we have agreed this to be the case.

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. We may sometimes take the view that very generalised information is not specific enough to fall within the description of Special Category Data e.g a delayed letter explained by a statement of the writer having been unwell.

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.

How long we keep data

We process many different types of information according to our Data Retention and Information Management Policy.

A brief summary of how long we keep things before they are destroyed is:

Item Time until destroyed

Consultation Documents, Inquiries and Objections, Public Inquiry Documents

16 years

The process of enforcing planning regulations

3 years after compliance with enforcement notice

The process dealing with planning applications in relation to listed buildings


The process of dealing with planning applications, for all other buildings


Provisions which apply specifically to the use of our web site

We monitor the site’s access log information and the connection address from the Internet address you are connecting from is automatically included. The Authority is based in the UK and does not share this data with third parties.

The Broads Authority does issue “cookies” (these are small files of information which web sites use to identify its users), however, these do not contain personal information – see ‘How we use cookies’ below, for more information.

How we use cookies

The law requires your permission to save cookies on your machine. Please read the below carefully contact us if you have any questions.

Cookies are small files which are sent to your browser (for example Internet Explorer or Firefox) and stored on your computer’s hard disk. They only identify your computer and not you personally.

Google Analytics cookies

These cookies are used to help record your use of this website. They are used to collect statistics about site usage such as when you last visited the site. This information is then used to improve the user experience on our website. The cookies contain randomly generated IDs used to recognise your browser when you read a page. The cookies contain no personal information and are used only for web analytics.

The Google Analytics cookies are called _ga, _gat and _gid. They will appear in the list of cookies under

  • _ga tracks whether you have visited the website before. It is set to expire 2 years after your last visit.
  • _gat is used to throttle the request rate. It is set to expire after 1 minute.
  • _gid is used to distinguish users. It expires after 24 hours.

We encourage you to accept the cookies our website uses as they help us to improve the user experience for you and many others.

Help on how to delete or reject cookies

If you do not want to receive cookies from this website, select cookie settings under the privacy settings in your browser options, then add our domain to the list of websites you do not want to accept cookies from. Under settings you can also delete individual cookies or any cookies that your browser has stored. You can find more information on how to delete and control cookies. You can read more details on Cookies and Google Analytics.

Your rights in relation to data processing including rights to access, rectification, erasure and to object to processing

You have the right to see any personal information that we hold about you. Such requests are called subject access requests. If you would like to make a subject access request please contact the Authority’s Data Protection Officer at the address below.

We will respond to such requests within one month. There is no fee to make a request, but we may require proof of identity before responding.

You may ask us to rectify any personal information which is incomplete or inaccurate. You may also ask us to erase such data once processing is no longer necessary or if you object to processing or consider that we are processing it unlawfully. We will consider such requests and if we refuse, we will give reasons. Processing information for a public task means that you do not have the right to withdraw consent to the processing.

Data Security

All our e-mail system is protected by Fusemail to filter incoming and outgoing e-mails. External e-mails default to encryption where the receiving server is enabled. All our computers, servers and portable devices are encrypted using Bitlocker.

Complaints and contact details and legal status

We have a Data Protection Officer whose contact details are below:

Data Protection Officer, Broads Authority, Yare House, 62-64 Thorpe Road, Norwich Norfolk, NR1 1RY. Alternatively e-mail at

You have the right to lodge a complaint using our complaints process in relation to our use of data and if you are not satisfied our response, you may take your complaint up with the supervisory authority in relation to data processing in the UK. This is the Information Commissioner’s Office at Wycliff House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF. Telephone: 0303 123 1113.