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Local Plan objectors may have addresses disclosed

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PEOPLE who objected to Warrington’s controversial Local Plan in the belief their full addresses would not be published have now been told their addresses must be disclosed.
More than 3,500 representations were made to the plan, following a nine-week consultation between April and June last year.
They came from businesses, developers, statutory bodies and ordinary members of the public.
The borough council informed them that only their names and postal towns would be published.
But in July, the Planning Inspectorate published new guidance which means full details of names and addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers must be provided to ensure the inspector and all other participants in the examination process are able to know who has made representations.
In a letter to all people believed to have made representations, the borough council’s director of growth, Steve Park (pictured)  says the Planning Inspectorate believe the change in guidance is necessary to ensure an effective and fair examination.
The council has taken external advice, including from the Planning Inspectorate and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), to ensure that they can meet the requirements of both the Planning Inspectorate and the Data Protection Act 2018.
They have been advised to inform all individuals affected by the new guidance of the changes they have to make.
To comply with the Planning Inspectorate’s new guidance the council must make all representations, including petitions, available at the council offices with full names and addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.
In addition, they must provide the details, when required, to the Planning Inspectorate.
When the council publishes representations on its website, however, it will still only publish names and the postal town.
Anyone who does not want their full name and address disclosed should inform the council by 5pm on January 31 via the email localplan@warrington.gov.uk or by post: Planning Policy & Programmes Team, New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NH
People can choose to withdraw their representation altogether but the council can still submit them with just names and the postal town.
“However, this is likely to mean that your representation will be given less weight by the Planning Inspector during the examination process, “ Mr Park’s letter states.
Anyone with queries can see an updated Privacy Notice, covering the Planning Inspectorate’s new requirements, via the council’s website: https://www.warrington.gov.uk/privacy?policy
Further information about the Local Plan can be obtained from the Planning Policy and Programmes Team on 01925 442826.

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  1. I’ve written to WBC and given my permission for my details to be included.

    I have to say, I don’t recognise the approach taken by WBC as being conventional. The advice that ” . . this is likely to mean that your representation will be given less weight by the Planning Inspector during the examination process” is an odd statement to make, and does make me wonder whether the council would really like people to withdraw their objections.

    Please call their bluff, folks! It’s our town, why shouldn’t we have a say in its development?

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