Rights of Way and Access privacy notice

This privacy notice tells you what information the Rights of Way and Access service collects and uses, and your rights regarding your information.

The categories of this information that we collect, process and hold include:

  • name, address, email and telephone contact details
  • consultation responses, objections or representations
  • information that you provide about your use of a particular public right of way or area of land

Why we collect and use this information

Suffolk County Council (SCC) stores and uses your personal data to:

  • process Definitive Map Modification Orders and Public Path Orders
  • process Highways Act 1980 section 31(6) deposits
  • respond to reports, enquiries or complaints and carry out maintenance and protection duties on public rights of way
  • enable communication with user groups/landowners/contractors/volunteers
  • deliver the Suffolk Walking Festival

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use this information because we are carrying out ‘public tasks’ or providing services set out in law. The relevant legislation includes:

  • Highways Act 1980
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • other Acts and Regulations

Collecting this information

Some of the information you provide to us is mandatory, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. In order to comply with data protection legislation, we will inform you whether you are required to provide certain information to us or if you have a choice in this.

Storing this information

For evidential purposes under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, all relevant correspondence that is a matter of public record and any personal data within it will be kept indefinitely.

What we use this information for and who we share it with

If you provide user evidence or a consultation response relating to a definitive map modification order, a public path order or a traffic regulation order, your name and evidence/comments will be included in a report to the County Council’s Development and Regulation Committee who determine whether an order should be made. The report will be published on Suffolk County Council's Committee Agendas, Reports and Minutes website. If you wish you may ask for your name and/or address to be anonymised in the report. However, after an order is made anyone can ask to inspect copies of any documents taken into account in making the order.

If you submit an objection or representation to a legal order this cannot be treated as confidential and may be shown to anyone who asks to see it. If an objected order is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision any objections, representations and user evidence will be sent with the order. The Secretary of State does not accept anonymous representations but if you wish you may ask for your name and address to be withheld. If you request this then your name and contact information will be removed, and your representation may receive less weight as a result.

We have a statutory duty to publish online registers of Highways Act 1980 section 31(6) deposits and formal applications for definitive map modification orders, with links to the documents, on Suffolk's public rights of way website . These documents are in the public domain. We remove (redact) signatures from the online copies but not the other personal data, and anyone has the right to ask to view the original unredacted documents.

If you submit a formal application for a definitive map modification order and you believe that publishing your personal details as the applicant would cause you substantial damage or distress, you may request that your personal details are removed from the register.

Suffolk Archives holds information relating to the preparation and review of the definitive map and statement which will be shared with researchers investigating potential definitive map modification order applications under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

If you apply for a temporary closure of a public right of way your name and contact details will normally appear on the site notice as the applicant and source of further information. If you wish you may ask us to omit your personal contact details from the site notice.

If you apply to erect a structure (for example, a gate or a stile) on a public right of way under Highways Act 1980 section 147, your application form containing your personal contact details will be held on our records for internal use.

We do not use your data for commercial or marketing purposes. If you have given your prior consent we may use your personal data to provide you with information about Suffolk Walking Festival events.

The Suffolk Walking Festival, managed by the Rights of Way Team, will send a feedback form following participation in the event. This information is collated and analysed by a third party company. You have the option to opt-in for further communication about the Suffolk Walking Festival. 

Why we share this information

To enable us to carry out our statutory duties and other services relating to public rights of way and access.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under data protection legislation, individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information contact data.protection@suffolk.gov.uk.

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed, and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. Alternatively, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information

You can read SCC’s corporate privacy notice.

Contact the Rights of Way and Access Team on 01473 264774 or email definitivemaps@suffolk.gov.uk for further information about this privacy notice.