Planning permission - copyright and how we use your information

Data protection

When submitting, viewing or commenting on a planning application online, the following applies:

  • Applicants and objectors should know which elements of their personal information will be published on the internet and can do so by consulting our Privacy Notice
  • If an applicant feels strongly that a particular document being submitted in support of an application should not be published, applicants may request particular documents to remain sensitive. However, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the document is clearly marked confidential so that our eProcessing Team can easily identify this. For example, applicants may want to consider requesting this where documentation contains commercially or environmentally sensitive information and the documents should be clearly marked to this effect.
  • The owner of the copyright has the exclusive rights to copy the work, to issue copies of the work to the public and to communicate the work to the public
  • Unless otherwise permitted, for a planning authority to make such information available on it’s website without permission of the owner of the copyright (usually the author of the letter, drawings, plans etc) may constitute an infringement of the owner’s copyright

Read more about Planning Information Online - Data Protection Guidance for Planning Authorities

How we use your information

Our privacy notices for Planning applications, consents and Notice of Review and Building Standards gives our legal basis for collecting personal information and how we use it.

This includes:

  • Information collected and transmitted to us on
  • Applications submitted to us in paper which are converted to electronic format
  • Planning application information displayed on Highland ePlanning

In sending an email or phoning us for information or help regarding a new or existing application, we may need to contact another department or organisation to get information to help you. We do not pass on any of your personal information when dealing with your enquiry, unless you have given us permission to do so.

Websites linked from The Planning or Building Standards Portals are not covered by this policy.


Plans, drawings and material which are submitted as part of a planning application and are accessible on our Public Access site are protected by the Copyright Acts 1988 Act. For copyright reasons, you may only download and print material for consultation and inspection purposes (e.g. checking that developments are in accordance with the approved plans). Authorisation to re-use copyright material should be sought from the copyright holder.

Any mapping based on Ordnance Survey material is subject to Crown Copyright. You may view or download this for private and non-commercial purposes. For any other purpose, you should contact Ordnance Survey for advice if you wish to licence Ordnance Survey mapping.


We apply security policies, rules and technical measures to protect the personal data that we have under our control from the following:

  • Unauthorised access
  • Improper use or disclosure
  • Unauthorised modification
  • Unlawful destruction
  • Accidental loss

All our staff that have access to, and are associated with the processing of personal data, are obliged to respect the confidentiality of our visitors' personal data.

Your responsibilities

You must only use your own details and express your own views when submitting comments on a planning application. Do not include personal information about another third party (including family members) unless you have told the individual concerned and they consent to it being supplied. If you falsely represent yourself as someone who you aren't, you could be charged with a criminal offense.

Tell us as soon as possible if any of the personal information you have provided should change.

Our Planning Service will retain your paper planning application and personal details for a period of 10 years after the application has been determined. After that, only parts of the paper record will be retained.

The electronic record will remain for up to 10 years after the decision to facilitate any legitimate requests for information.

Your rights to access personal data

For any enquiry or concern about our privacy policy, or to request access to your personal data, contact us.

We have to provide you with a readable copy of the personal data that we keep about you within 40 days. There is no charge for this. You must provide of proof of your identity.

It is both in our interest and yours to hold accurate data. If the data we hold on you is inaccurate in any way, where appropriate, you may have the data erased, rectified, amended or completed.