Kingston upon Thames » About CAACs

About CAACs

Conservation Areas Advisory Committees

Conservation Areas Advisory Committees (CAACs)

Membership and procedures

Terms of reference

The CAAC terms of reference have been agreed by the joint Chairs.

Term of reference 1

To advise the Council on planning applications and other matters referred to the Committee, and in particular whether such applications may affect the character or appearance of a conservation area. Representations from CAACs on planning applications are generally submitted to the Council Planning and Development Team within 6 weeks of receiving notice that an application has been validated. The exception to this rule are call-in requests. These are where the CAAC objects to a particular application which cannot be overcome by officers / applicants and which, therefore, is escalated to the relevent planning committee for decision rather than delegated to officers. Such requests must be made within 21 days of the application's validation date.

Term of reference 2

To advise the Council when preparing conservation area Character Appraisals or policies for the preservation and enhancement of a conservation area.

CAAC membership and procedures have been agreed by the joint chairs.


  1. The Committee should reflect a cross-section of local residents of the Borough. Nominations to serve on the Committee are sought from such bodies as the local civic amenity historical and archaeological societies, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Association of Building Engineers, local residents’ associations, if appropriate, the local chamber of trade or commerce as well as residents living in a local conservation area.

  2. CAAC meetings are open to obsevers (including Council members and officers) by invitation only.

  3. CAACs advertise for new members when places become available and new members are chosen by the Committee on the basis of their potential contribution to the work of the CAAC. Note that Council members may not serve on a CAAC as that would compromise its independence.

  4. There are no fixed durations for CAAC membership or office

  5. Each Committee will have no less than six and no more than 20 members in order to ensure that it can work effectively. The names and addresses of CAAC members are held by the Council for reference.

  6. The CAAC shall elect a Chair, a Vice Chair, Treasurer and a Secretary.

  7. The name of the Chair is included in the CAAC webpage on the Council’s website.


  1. Meetings are held monthly and details are included above.

  2. A quorum of at least two CAAC members is required for the Committee to meet.

  3. Matters are decided by a simple majority vote of members present. The Chair will have the casting vote where agreement cannot be reached.

  4. The CAAC does not fall within the definition of a committee or sub-committee as contained in Section 102 of the Local Government Act of 1972. Thus meetings of the CAAC are not automatically open to the public and the press. However, in order to ensure transparency, CAAC meetings in Kingston are open to the public by invitation for observation only, with no right to speak.

  5. CAACs may invite applicants and other parties involved in proposed developments to their meetings in order to explain or clarify proposals both at pre-application and planning stages. It is important to note that each CAAC is a consultee in its own right and it is there to form its own views on the applications it receives to comment on.

  6. Representations from CAACs on planning applications are published at least monthly on the CAAC website ( and submitted to case officers by auto-generated email from this website no less than 21 days after each case's validation date.

  7. Representations on a planning application must be set out in adequate detail. If the CAAC objects to an application we must clearly identify the reasons why the proposal is harmful to the character and appearance of the conservation area and why it is not in accordance with the Council’s development plan or planning guidance.

  8. CAACs’ comments are taken into consideration in the planning officer’s assessment of the planning application and recorded in the officer’s report.

  9. As per Part 5D of the Council's Constitution: Where the CAAC has objected to an application and this objection cannot be overcome,the CAAC may make a specific written 'call-in request' that the application is considered by the relevant Council planning committee, rather than determined under delegated powers. In this case the CAAC will be given the opportunity to address the committee meeting in one of the public speaking slots.

  10. Members of the CAAC are not remunerated for their participation in the activities of the CAAC.

  11. If any member of the CAAC has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any planning application or other matter before the CAAC, that member must declare their interest and withdraw from the meeting while the matter is under consideration. This should be noted in the minutes.

  12. Minutes of CAAC meetings are not available to the public.

  13. The CAAC Chairs meet face to face with Council members and planning officers on a regular basis, to discuss policy and related matters of topical interest and to maintain effective communication.