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    Hi – at Mendip District Council we have been approached by one of our Town Councils, who are very proactive and looking to produce their own Self Build Register. They are looking to us for guidance and they would like to ask a range of questions, not just the basic requirements, including questions of affordability and income.

    Obviously this is sensitive data and from my understanding of the statutory definition they are not a ‘relevant authority’. So I am keen to know if they are protected in any way under the Data Protection Act? Can they ask these types of questions if they are not a ‘relevant authority’?

    Roisin McDermott



    Roisin- neighbourhood planning groups are taking increasing interest in supporting self and custom housebuilding and in designing their own non-statutory registers, both to help prepare their NPs and to bring forward sites. Bearing in mind of course that the new legislation/duty does not apply to them as they are not a ‘relevant authority’.

    New Self-build and Custom Housebuilding legislation now in force

    We consider this to be good practice, particularly if it informs site releases/allocations. Given the legislation enables questions to be asked about affordability (Regulation 5(4) of the new Register Regulations 2016), there is no reason why a community should not ask similar questions, provided that this information is not made public under data protection law. Your legal team should be able to advise on the extent to which the DPA applies to the Town Councils you refer to.

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