Strategic Planning, Local  Plan and Public Examination and Virtual Hearing Sessions privacy notice

What personal information is being processed and what for

Local Plan hearing sessions are events chaired by a Planning Inspector who has been appointed by the Secretary of State to examine the various policies and proposals in the Local Plan.

Where Hearing sessions take place virtually, participants are able to attend either through video conferencing (through ‘Microsoft Teams’) or via telephone (dialling in on a landline or mobile phone).

The data collected at a virtual event may include:

Personally identifiable information such as an e-mail address requested in an event invite; phone number; IP address when connected to an event through an electronic device; display name collected from the participants joining details; voice and self-image when the participant activates their camera. Metadata may be taken from joining the virtual meeting including an IP address, joining account information and browser type (if a browser is being used instead of the Microsoft Teams App).

Cookies are also collected by Microsoft when using the ‘Teams’ platform, which is covered by the Microsoft Privacy Statement.

Recording / Live Streaming of Local Plan Hearing Sessions

If you participate in a virtual Hearing session, all the other attendees will be able to see you (if you connect by video), listen to what you say, and see your name. The Council will live stream and record the hearing sessions to ensure public access to the process. These will be publicly available on-line. In order to facilitate virtual Hearing sessions, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:

  • Your voice will be recorded if you speak at a Hearing session;
  • Your image will be recorded if you use a video feed when participating at a Hearing session;
  • Your telephone number will be displayed if you participate at a Hearing session by dialling in (If you do not want your telephone number to be displayed, you can turn off Caller ID, generally known as dialling 141. This would need to be done each time you dial in to join a Hearing session); 
  • Your name will appear and be recorded when invited to speak and it will be displayed during the meeting.

The live stream and recording of Hearing sessions will be made publicly available on the Council’s website and/or YouTube channel. Anyone who chooses to watch the live stream or recording of a Hearing session will be able to see you (if you connect by video), listen to what you say, and see your name.

Why we are allowed to use your information

The way in which planning policy documents are produced is governed by a range of legislation. In a number of cases this includes how they are consulted upon and how the Council is expected to collect and present consultation responses in a transparent way. This legislation includes but not exclusive to:

  • Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012
  • Section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

It is a statutory function for Local Authorities to produce Local Plan documents and as such, under local government legislation, is a task in the public interest and in the exercise of official authority (General Data Protection Regulation Article 6 (1) (e))

Who we will share your information with

Inspectors are appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to carry out an independent examination of Local Plans which have been submitted. The council will submit information to Planning Inspectorate (PINS) in respect of their proposed Local Plan and are under a legal obligation to do so. This includes the representations that the council has received on it, and this information is sent to the Inspector who conducts the examination of the Local Plan.

During the examination, the Inspector will hear representations from the parties and consider any further written representations that are accepted during that examination. Cheshire East Council, as the local planning authority provides a Programme Officer to support the Inspector, and correspondence and examination material are exchanged between the local planning authority and the Inspector through the Programme Officer.

The council will have in place a Service Level Agreement with PINS. The council engages PINS as a data processor for the purposes of conducting the examination. The council as the data controller will exercise overall control over the purpose for which, and the way your personal data are processed. The Programme Officer will administer attendance at virtual Hearing sessions. Any data processing agreement will be for the duration of the specific examination in question only.

Where we get your information from

Information is received from representations made to the Local Plan Document published in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations.

How long we will keep your personal information

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal or reporting requirements.  Live stream recordings will be retained whilst the Local Plan document is being adopted and for a period of time following adoption, until the period for legal challenge has passed, or any legal challenge has concluded.

We keep other personal information in line with its retention schedule, which is based on retention guidelines for local authorities. You can see details of our retention guidelines on our information asset register.

What happens if you don't provide us with your personal information

The Council has a duty to make sure that all documents and therefore all comments received are made available for public inspection under statutory provisions including the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Local Government Act 1972.  Your comments on planning policy documents (or other information submitted to the Council) cannot be registered or used for the purposes of the development of planning policy if you do not provide your personal information.

Anonymous responses are not accepted.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions


Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it.  You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong.

For detailed information about your rights please see the Cheshire East privacy notice.

Page last reviewed: 30 June 2022