Confidentiality and Freedom of Information

Information on confidentiality in relation to your pre-application discussions

Whilst the Council does not proactively publicise the details of pre-application enquiries, it may be requested by a third party to disclose this information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) or Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).  

If we receive such a request, we can only withhold information under FOI or EIR if the information falls under one of the exemptions (FOI) or exceptions (EIR) set out in legislation. It should be noted that personal contact details are protected under the Data Protection Act. 

We would therefore encourage applicants to complete our Pre-application Confidentiality Form when a pre-application enquiry is made, to bring our attention to any information that you consider may, if disclosed into the public domain, prejudice your commercial/other interests, breach confidentiality/personal data or otherwise cause demonstrable harm to you either as a person or your business or your client if you are acting on someone's behalf.

This form is not just for pre-applications relating to major developments. It can also be use by individuals/members of the public wishing to make a pre-application enquiry the Council and within that application, include some information to assist the Council with its response that you may consider to be of a personal or sensitive nature that you would not want the Council to disclose if were to to be requested at a later date.

Essentially, the form is your opportunity to set out which information you believe should remain confidential and to explain what the harm/prejudice would be caused if it were to be made available into the public domain, either for a certain period of time or for the duration of time it is held by the Council. Examples of what you would believe would happen should the information be disclosed, along with any evidence that you might hold would also greatly assist the Council in this regard.

Please note that whilst we will always carefully consider and take account of these views, the decision as to whether the information should be withheld rests with the Council in accordance with its consideration of ICO guidance.

If you having any concerns or queries regarding the completion of the form, please email the Council's Freedom of Information Officer using and they will be happy to assist you.