It is important to remember that all planning files are public files and are therefore available for viewing by any member of the public, either at the planning public counter or electronically on the council’s website.
Where information is submitted in support of an application and where it is material to the assessment of that application, this information must be made available on the application file. This is so that any third party may view this information in order to understand how the assessment and decision were carried out.
Therefore, applicants and agents are advised that any information that may be considered of a personal nature should be blanked out prior to submission to the planning authority.
For example, bank or credit card statements, utility bills, or other documents that contain PPSN numbers or personal account numbers should have these personal details blanked out. Financial transactions contained on statements should also be blanked out. In addition, where legal separations are submitted as part of an application, personal details pertaining to the agreement should also be blanked out.
These are just examples and are not an exhaustive list. Applicants and agents should consider all information before submission with a planning application on the basis that it may be available for public viewing.