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Publishing commercial or industrial information

Sometimes commercial or industrial information needs to be submitted with planning applications. This can include:

  • where the money from the sale of new development is used to bring a listed building or property in a conservation area back into use
  • cases where new development is proposed to financially support businesses in rural areas
  • new houses proposed for a worker or owner of an existing or proposed business in the countryside
  • cases where financial contributions to facilities or infrastructure, such as road improvements and/or the provision of affordable housing, need to be agreed with us  

We normally publish all the information we receive and use when we are assessing a planning application so that the public can take part in the planning process. In some cases however, we may withhold information if it is in the public interest to do so. We may decide not to publish information if it could prejudice the confidentiality of commercial information or if there is a legal reason to protect a legitimate economic interest. This includes financially and commercially sensitive information where we are under a duty of confidence (either explicit or implicit) binding us not to disclose the information. 
This will not apply to information where:

  • it is already in the public domain
  • it is does not involve information that is commercial or industrial in nature, regardless of whether there is a duty of confidence
  • it involves commercial or industrial information and we are not bound by a legally binding duty of confidence in relation to the information
  • the information is commercial or industrial in nature and there is a duty of confidence but the duty does not protect a legitimate economic interest

In these cases we will publish the information.

However where the information does not fall into one of these categories (in other words an exception applies meaning the information could be published) a public interest test will be considered after which we may conclude that the public interest favours it being published. 
If you submit information with an application which you think shouldn't be made available to the public you should tell us, explaining why you think it should not be published. It is important to note that you must ask for this information not to be published when you submit it.