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Development Control Committee

Our Development Control Committee meets on a three weekly cycle and decides on all applications which are referred for consideration by the Community and Planning Services Director.

The Committee vote in order to reach a decision and will either grant planning permission, with or without conditions, or refuse it.

Reasons have to be given for the conditions or for refusal. These are included on the decision notice, which is sent to the applicant after a decision has been made. A record of all decisions is maintained on the planning register.

Some applications are deferred if Councillors want more information about a proposal (or if they want to have a site inspection themselves). If this happens it is usual for the application to be referred back to the next meeting of the Development Control Committee.

The Committee Agendas are available for public inspection five working days before the date of the Development Control Committee at Sevenoaks District Council Offices and Swanley Contact and Information Office.

You can also view the Development Control Committee agendas and minutes on our website.

As well as at the Council Offices, Agendas are also available for public inspection at:

New Ash Green Library
Near Youth Centre / Shopping Precinct
New Ash Green

Swanley Library
London Road

Sevenoaks Library
Buckhurst Lane

After the Committee meeting, details of the decisions can be found on this website via PublicAccess (please have the planning reference to hand).

The decisions usually will be updated on the day after Committee but it is advisable to wait until at least 12 noon so that the database can be updated, alternatively you can contact the Planning Team.

Development Control Committee

What happens at the meeting?

Each planning application to be dealt with is listed on the agenda. There is a short report summarising the background of each application, its history and the comments of neighbours and anyone else interested in the proposal.

Although it may seem that some applications are dealt with quickly at the meeting, a lot of background work goes on beforehand.

An officer checks whether the application drawings are accurate, and they would have visited the site and asked neighbours, local residents and amenity societies for their views before writing the report. Sometimes other authorities, such as the Environment Agency, or Kent County Council, would have been asked for their views.

At the meeting the committee members discuss each report in turn. An officer will introduce each item with a short presentation.

Representations will be heard from people who have registered to speak and the Parish/Town Council and local Members may also address the committee. See our leaflet Speaking on Planning Applications.

Following this, questions may be asked to the technical and legal officers for advice if necessary. A debate will then follow before a vote is taken.

An application for planning permission may be granted. This may be subject to certain conditions to make sure that, for example, an extension is built of the same type of bricks as the original house.

Or it may be refused. In this case, the reasons for refusal will be given. Alternatively, it may be deferred. This sometimes happens if Members want more information about a proposal (or if they want to have a site inspection themselves). In this case the application will usually be decided at the next meeting of the Development Control Committee.

Occasionally, an application is withdrawn from the meeting. This is usually announced at the beginning of the evening.

Should an item contain information which is confidential, in accordance with our Access to Information Procedure Rules, it may be necessary for the Development Control Committee to pass a resolution requiring members of the public and the press to leave so that the Committee may discuss the confidential information.

Site inspections

If Members want to look further at an element of a proposal, particularly if it is controversial, the Development Control Committee may defer a decision for a site inspection.

The site inspection will be attended by Members and planning officers. The inspection gives Members an opportunity to view relevant features on site.  This will then inform the debate at the following Development Control Committee Meeting.

Visit our Development Control Committee details page to view the members of Development Control Committee. There may be other Members at the meeting. They may be there because they are interested in one of the items on the agenda.

Members may also request that a site inspection takes place before the Development Control Committee meeting. The process that is followed on the site is the same as when an application is deferred for an inspection. The inspection will usually take place on the day of the Committee meeting.

Other people at the meeting

Our technical and legal officers also attend to give the Members advice.

You are welcome to observe the meeting, but you may not contribute to the discussion unless (where appropriate) you have registered to speak with our Democratic Services Team beforehand.

Development Control Committee agendas are always available at our offices five working days before the meeting. Agendas can also be viewed on our website. Spare copies are available at the Committee venue before the meeting.

For more information please contact the Planning Team.