Changes to public comments on the Planning Public Access system

You may be interested in this information, if you engage with the Planning System in Leeds.

“Dear Councillor,

Members may recall that following the implementation of GDPR, comments made by the public  on planning applications must not contain personal  information; any disclosure of this type of information could result in the Council being subject to a substantial fine by the Independent Commissioners Office (ICO) if we are found at fault.  Consequently,  the service has been working to find a solution to ensure compliance in relation to public comments displayed about planning applications on the Public Access system.

Accordingly, we can advise that as from 7th September the solution is thus:

o   all comments received will be checked prior to going live on Public Access to ensure they are not in breach of GDPR

o   compliant comments will be available on Public Access after five working days

o   any comments that are in breach, for example containing personal information, or libellous or defamatory information will be returned to the originator, with advice on how to amend to make comments acceptable

o   the name of the person making the comment will no longer be displayed on Public Access, just their address.  This is a result of receiving complaints that people can be identified by having both their name and address in the public domain, and follows discussion with Legal Services and Information Governance colleagues.  However this information will be available for the Planning Officer to view.

o   as a Member, you may still want your name to appear in Public Access in order for constituents to see what comments have been made on your ward’s behalf, to do this please put your name at the beginning of the address field.

I trust this is clear, but for further information please contact planning@leeds.gov.uk.”