Considerations in the determination of applications

Planning applications are assessed on their merits and determined in accordance with:

These set out policies to which an application should meet.

Comments from local residents and other consultees will be taken into consideration.

The material consideration that may be taken into account include matters like:

  • The effect on traffic or parking
  • The appearance of the proposal
  • Overlooking or disturbance
  • Loss of light or privacy
  • Impact on the local environment, and
  • Whether the proposed use is suitable

Opinions expressed by planning officers

While the planning officer dealing with the application may express views on the proposals, these are informal opinions.

The case officer is not able to tell you what recommendation has been made until it has been agreed by the senior planning officer or, in the case of an item going to committee, until the agenda for the meeting has been published. This is in accordance with national good practice.

Formal decision

A formal decision can only be made by the planning applications committee which is made up of local Councillors, or by the Assistant Director, Planning and Transport, under powers delegated by the committee. The majority of decisions are made under these delegated powers.

The Planning Applications Committee

Some applications are considered by the planning applications committee.

You should monitor the application through the website. This will identify when the application is due to be heard by the planning applications committee. A copy of the report to committee will also be available.

Attending the meeting

You can attend the meeting and listen to the discussion.

You can ask your ward Councillors if they are willing to put your point of view to the committee, even if they are not serving on the committee itself.

Committee agendas and minutes are also published online.

Agendas are published one week before the date of a committee meeting. A list of the committee's decisions on planning applications is usually available 3 days after the meeting, with the full minutes available three weeks after the date of the meeting.

Who can speak at the meeting 

At Wandsworth, neither applicants nor objectors can speak at the planning applications committee.

However, Councillors who are not members of the committee but who represent the ward where an application is located, can attend the meeting and speak briefly on the item, at the Chairman's discretion.

Lobbying Councillors

You can approach your ward Councillor to discuss planning issues or to explain your point of view, whether or not the Councillor is a planning applications committee member.

They may be able to offer you advice and assistance but normally will refer technical or policy queries to the appropriate officers. Councillors will often be lobbied about planning applications by neighbours and on occasion by developers.

A member of the planning applications committee has to be careful not to appear to "pre-determine" any application. They are likely to acknowledge any concerns expressed or points made in support of an application, but will only be able to make a final decision at the committee meeting after considering all relevant matters.