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Planning Committee Deputations

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Planning Committee meets roughly once a month - usually on a Thursday, at 7pm in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall - to make decisions on planning and listed building applications.

Public comments on all development proposals are encouraged by Council policy and planning laws, and it is helpful to the Committee to know whether or not local people support an application or how they are affected by it. The Committee has regard to all views put before it when making its decision.

Anyone who has commented on a planning application due to be heard by the Committee will be notified of the date of the meeting.

Which applications will be heard by the Committee?

Not all planning applications are considered by the Committee. Council officers have the authority to approve or refuse many types of applications. However, some types of application - usually due to their size or complexity - must be considered by the Planning Committee.  Those types of application are set out in the terms of reference of the Committee in the Council's Constitution.

Sometimes even where officers have the power to decide an application they may refer it to the Committee to consider. This may happen after consulting lead Committee members, who make up the Members’ Briefing Panel.  If the case is to be referred to the Committee, all those who have made comments will be notified of the meeting date.

For more information on how planning applications are considered, please see our planning application pages.

Planning Committee agendas and reports

A couple of weeks before each Committee meeting, officers draw up a list of applications to be heard at that meeting. An agenda is then prepared containing a notice of the meeting, a list of applications to be considered and reports on the applications listed. The reports are written by planning officers, taking all planning issues, including the results of consultation, into consideration. Each report contains:

  • a description of the application
  • the number of people who were consulted and replied, and a summary of those comments
  • a list of relevant planning policies
  • the planning issues which officers have taken into account before making their recommendations
  • officers’ recommendations and any conditions considered necessary, including reasons

The agenda is published 5 clear working days before the meeting - usually the Wednesday of the week before the meeting - and can be viewed on the Council’s website.  Once published, members of the public can see the agenda and reports online and hard copies are available on request.

Putting forward your views to the Committee

Once the agenda has been published there is an opportunity to submit comments to the Committee on an application which it is due to hear at that meeting. These are separate comments to any you might have made during the earlier part of the process.

You may choose to contact Members directly but anything you say or send may be shared with officers for transparency. Officers may then comment on and share more widely the details of anything said or sent to Members.

The recommended way to submit views to the Committee is to either:

  • write to the Committee with your views - known as making a written submission; or
  • ask to address the Committee at the meeting - known as making a deputation. When requesting this, a statement must be provided in advance, setting out the issues you want to raise with the Committee. The Committee will only accept deputation requests from people or organisations who have a planning-related interest that could be affected directly by the proposal such as applicants, neighbouring occupiers and local groups.

If you are planning to make a deputation, you may wish to read the Council’s deputation webpages.

You cannot submit both a written submission and a deputation statement.

Deputations statements and written submissions must be:

  • received by the Committee Clerk by 9am on the working day before the meeting. They can be submitted via email or letter. Any written submissions or deputation requests not received by this time will not be provided to the Committee for their consideration except in exceptional circumstances. 
  • no more than two sides of A4 long, though any photographs, diagrams or other images you wish to provide do not count towards this limit. You can have any illustrative material included with a deputation statement displayed on screen when making your deputation as long as you have indicated in advance you would like this.

When sending in a written submission or deputation request, please ensure you provide the following information to assist us in processing your request:

  • the name of the lead speaker for the deputation. Please note that if the lead speaker attends the meeting remotely and their connection fails when the item under consideration is the item on which they have asked to address the committee, the meeting may be adjourned or the Chair may choose to move to another item if appropriate while the connection is re-established. You may list other names, but where the connection of another member of the deputation party is interrupted, the Chair will not ordinarily adjourn the meeting but will have the discretion to do so where considered appropriate.
  • an email address and contact telephone number
  • the name of any group you represent, whether you are a neighbouring occupier, or whether you are the applicant or an agent
  • the address of the application you are writing about
  • whether your comments are a written submission or deputation statement. For a deputation request it should also be clear if you wish to speak for, against or in neutral terms on the application.

Your submission/statement should only deal with the planning issues of an application, such as how you and your home might be affected by the proposal. It must not contain anything defamatory or discriminatory. The Council reserves the right to reject any submissions/statements containing defamatory or discriminatory statements.

The Clerk will collate and send all written submissions and deputation statements to the Committee on the day before the meeting as part of a supplementary agenda. This will be published on the Council's website.

All persons making a deputation/written submission should consult our privacy notice.

Rules for applicants and agents

Applicants and agents do not have to submit a deputation statement in advance of the meeting, though if they choose to do so the same rules and deadlines set out above will apply. Where there are people speaking in objection to an application, the applicant/agent can respond verbally to the points raised. Where there are no objectors, the applicant/agent will not be invited to address the Committee, but may be asked to answer any questions that arise.

The applicant/agent should notify the clerk in writing by 9am the working day before the meeting if they wish to reserve the right to respond to any objectors, setting out the names of the person who would be responding.

In the case of the applicant/agent opting to attend the Committee meeting remotely, they must submit the name of a lead speaker, in case of connection issues. If the identified speaker’s connection fails when the item under consideration is the item on which they have asked to address the committee, the meeting may be adjourned or the Chair may choose to move to another item if appropriate while the connection is re-established. 

You may list other names, but where the connection of another member of the applicant/agent party is interrupted, the Chair will not ordinarily adjourn the meeting but will have the discretion to do so where considered appropriate. Any additional names should be kept to a minimum and should be persons who may genuinely be called to answer questions on matters material to the application.

If the applicant/agent submits a deputation statement, but they are not called to speak, the statement will be treated as a written submission instead.

Rules for councillors

Councillors may also make written submissions to the Committee, though they must follow the same rules as for ordinary members of the public in terms of length and submission by the deadline of 9am the working day before the meeting.

Ward councillors or other councillors who can demonstrate a planning related interest (e.g councillors for adjoining wards) may also ask to make an oral representation to the Committee. This will be in addition to any deputations but will be subject to a maximum total time limit of 5 minutes.  They do not have to provide a statement in advance, though they must inform the clerk by 9am the working day before the meeting that they wish to address the Committee on an application. This also applies to Committee members who are going to stand down from the Committee in order to speak on an application.  A relevant Cabinet Member may address the Committee in addition to the ward members or other councillors and should again send their request to do so to the clerk by 9am the day before the meeting.

Any councillors who do not meet the deadline will not be permitted to speak except in exceptional circumstances.

Deputations and submissions about applications not on the Committee agenda

The Committee does not accept any deputations or written submissions where they relate to applications that are not on the agenda. Any comments on other applications form part of the planning process and should be provided to the relevant planning officer.

Procedure at the meeting

The Planning Committee is held in a hybrid way. People who have registered to speak can either attend the meeting in-person or remotely via Microsoft Teams. 

Once registered to speak, the clerk will ask those registered if they wish to attend in-person or remotely. Following confirmation, the clerk will provide further details on how to attend the meeting.

For further details at this stage on how to join a Planning Committee either in-person or remotely, please see our deputation page on preparing for a meeting.

People simply wanting to watch the meetings can do so via the live stream available online.

Order of business

At the start of the meeting the Committee will formally agree the deputations to be heard. Then after the routine items such as Apologies for Absence have been completed, the Committee will move on to hearing applications. They will almost always proceed in the order listed on the agenda, and there are no guaranteed timings of when applications will start being heard and how long they may take. The Committee must conclude its business no later than 10.30pm.

Most applications are heard as follows:

  • the Planning Officer introduces the application and their recommendations
  • deputation from objectors (if any) (5 minutes, shared by all objectors)
  • deputation response (if any)  (5 minutes, shared by applicant and supporters)
  • Ward councillors (5 minutes, shared by all ward councillors)
  • Cabinet members (5 minutes, shared by all Cabinet members)
  • questions from the Committee and debate
  • voting for a decision, when the Chair considers that there has been sufficient debate. For remote meetings, this will done via a roll call.
  • In straightforward cases where the recommendation is to approve planning permission, the Committee may make a decision based solely on the report without an officer presentation or extensive debate.

Making your deputation

If you are making a deputation, you should be ready to speak once the Chair calls your name. Deputies are reminded they should wait to speak until invited by the Chair.

When making your deputation, you should:

  • state your name and whether you are an affected resident or business, or the name of the organisation you represent if you are speaking on behalf of a group.
  • bear in mind the Committee will have read your deputation statement, so it would be helpful if you were concise and avoided repetition as it is your only chance to make your views heard.
  • keep to time, whether you have the full 5 minutes to speak or a shorter period of time because you are sharing. You will be warned when there is a minute left. If you go over time, the Chair may cut-off your speech.

Once your deputation has concluded, you may not address the Committee again, other than to answer questions.

It is expected that anyone who has requested a deputation will speak and conduct themselves in an orderly manner and only speak when called upon by the Chair. You may be warned, or if necessary, ejected from the meeting if the Chair deems you conduct to be sufficiently disruptive.


Ordinarily, once the Committee's debate has concluded, the Chair will put the officers' recommendation to the vote. This may include any new or amended conditions that have been identified during the debate. If the Committee decides not to follow the officers' recommendation, the Chair will ask the Committee to identify an alternative course of action with reasons. This could be to refuse the application or to defer the decision to seek further information. 

The Committee's decision should be clear to everyone present at the meeting. After the meeting, you can find out the decision by either contacting the Committee Clerk or the relevant planning officer. 

Decisions are recorded in the minutes of the meeting, which are available roughly a fortnight after the meeting. The minutes also include a summary of the debate and responses to questions. The minutes form part of the agenda for the next meeting, when they are agreed as the correct record.  You can see minutes of meetings on the Council's website


Applicants who wish to appeal against a decision by the Committee to refuse an application or against conditions imposed on a planning permission may do so by contacting the Planning Inspectorate. More information is available elsewhere on the Council's website.

There is no right of appeal for any other party, and no right of appeal against the approval of a planning application, other than through the courts.

Contact with Committee members

The Planning Committee and associated processes are governed by the Council's Planning Protocol, which can be found in the Council's Constitution. Members of the Committee have a responsibility to make decisions with an open mind and under the Protocol they are generally not permitted to discuss specific details of individual planning applications with any party. 

Therefore, while you may contact Committee members directly on any application, Committee members have been advised to share such communications with officers in the interests of transparency. Officers may then decide to comment on anything sent to Committee members directly and may also share more widely with other Committee members or other parties. 

The recommended way to channel your concerns or views is in writing through the Committee Clerk, who will ensure that all Committee members have a copy to ensure transparent and fair decision-making.

You may contact a ward councillor in relation to a planning application, but it is suggested that you speak only to those ward councillors who are not members of the Planning Committee as they are better placed to advise you and potentially advocate for you. They may agree to represent your views at the meeting. If you contact a ward councillor who is a Planning Committee member, they may advise you to approach another ward councillor for help, so they can take part in the decision and not be seen as prejudiced.

Site visits by the Committee

Site visits are permitted as part of the Committee’s decision-making. This may occur either because:

  • officers deem it necessary to invite Committee members to see the site before the application is heard. This is usually on major applications, where the complexity means the Committee would likely find it easier to understand the proposals by seeing the site in advance.
  • the Committee decides when hearing the application to defer a decision in order to arrange a site visit in order to clarify some aspect of the proposal.

In either situation, site visits are solely for information purposes and for the Committee only; invitations are not extended to members of the public or applicants. The applicant, agent, objector or other relevant party may be contacted to make arrangements, but will not otherwise be involved. Officers will conduct the site visit with the Committee and will seek to ensure that no other party is present on the site visit.  At the site visit, Members may ask questions or seek clarification, particularly about the layout of the site, but will not debate the merits of the proposal and no decisions will be made.

Failure of a Committee member to attend a virtual site visit does not preclude them from participating when the application goes before the Committee. 

Contact details

For further enquiries about the procedure at meetings of the Planning Committee, please contact the clerks:

Sola Odusina / Rebecca Taylor
Committee Services
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall
Judd Street
London WC1H 9JE
Phone: 020 7974 6884