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Privacy notice – Planning

Information about how and when the planning team processes personal information about you.​

What we do

The planning system guides the future development and use of land in the long term public interest.

Development management is the process of managing the development of land and buildings. As a local planning authority, we are responsible for deciding whether certain types of development, anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre, should go ahead.

Planning policy aims to ensure that development and changes in land use occur in suitable locations, are sustainable and provide protection from inappropriate development in the long term public interest.

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 and related applications
  • making planning policies
  • working with neighbourhoods on their plans
  • working with neighbouring authorities on strategic policies
  • responding to allegations of unlawful development and other enquires relating to land and trees within the borough
  • monitoring development
  • entering legal agreements, serving notices and promoting the best use of land

What information we collect

We get planning and related application information in two ways – it is supplied to us directly (or via a planning agent on your behalf) or we receive it from a third party website that provides a transaction service, e.g. The Planning Portal.

We also receive comments, representations, allegations and questions via email, letter and through the planning public access search and comment facility.

How we store your information

Your information, both physical and digital is securely stored in line with current GDPR regulations in a locked, secure or encrypted storage facility.  Personal data (as shown below) will usually be retained for the duration of the application process. In all cases, once the personal data is no longer necessary for the purpose in which we originally collected or processed it, it will be be destroyed in line with our data destruction policy.


During the application process we may collect your planning agent's:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address

We may also collect your

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address

The Council is required to publish planning applications on its website which includes applicants/agent names and addresses. However, we will routinely redact personal information before making forms and documents available online, such as signatures, email addresses and telephone numbers.

If you include the name and address of a private individual on any plan or in any planning document, other than the application form (for example on the drawings), these details will be published on our web site.

  • personal contact details for the applicant e.g. telephone numbers, email addresses
  • signatures
  • special category data – e.g. information within supporting statements that include information about health conditions or ethnic origin
  • information agreed to be confidential

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 emailing planning@lewisham.gov.uk.

Bank details, sent to us via email, to arrange refunds or other payments

These details will be passed to our central payments team and the record of the email will be deleted.

Neighbour comments in support of, or object to, or to take account of in respect of a planning application

If you make a comment on a planning application, we may collect:

  • your name
  • your address
  • your email address
  • your phone number
  • details of your comment, which may include personal information e.g. heath issues that would be exacerbated by proposed development.

We do not publish neighbour comments on our website. These will only be shared with planning committee members and the Planning Inspectorate or Local Government Ombudsman in the event of direct appeals or complaints to these bodies. Your comments will be summarised in the Officers Report, which is published on our website once the application has been determined.

Members of the public and planning agents are able to request copies of representations, including requests under Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Requests. We will redact all personally identifiable information before any documents are released.

Agencies we might share the information with

Information obtained in the course of our work as a local planning authority may be shared with other council departments.

We may share your information with external agencies such as the Greater London Authority, Planning Inspectorate or Local Government Ombudsman in the event of direct appeals or complaints to these bodies.

We will not disclose any information to any company outside of the Council except to prevent fraud, or if required to do so by law.

Why we process your information

We process your information to meet statutory requirements and ensure service delivery.

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 and associated town planning legislation requires public consultation to be undertaken as part of the decision making process for planning and related applications.

Historical planning applications

Any paper copies, if one exists, of historical planning applications will be redacted to remove any personal information before these can be viewed in our office or emailed to the requester. Please email planning@lewisham.gov.uk to book an appointment to view the paper file.

We are obliged by law to make some information provided to us available on planning registers. These are 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.