Camden Council agrees to amend voting procedures in line with law

Camden Town Hall. Photograph: Camden Council

Amendments to the decision-making process for planning decisions have been introduced by the planning committee to make sure it adheres with the latest case law.

Previously, if an application was presented for approval and the committee voted against it, the reasons for the refusal would then have to be voted on afterwards.

At last Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, Chair Cllr Heather Johnson (Labour) described this current procedure as “not best practice”.

This is because this system relies on the assumption that the first vote against the planning recommendation equates to simply wanting to refuse it, rather than for the reasons later outlined.

“It’s not in line with other authorities, it’s not in line with our own protocol and it’s not in line with the case law that’s emerging on this issue,” Cllr Johnson said.

The planning committee voted for an amended procedure, whereby the reasons for refusal and the decision to refuse a planning application are now part of the same decision.

Once an application has been refused, the Chair of the Committee will then ask the committee to come up with alternative recommendations with reasons.

Cllr Johnson added: “It now makes a lot of sense, it didn’t initially.”