Preparing to speak at a Development Management Committee meeting | Advice on speaking on planning applications | Sevenoaks District Council

Advice on speaking on planning applications

Preparing to speak at a Development Management Committee meeting

See our short video on speaking at the Development Management Committee (formally known as the Development Control Committee).


Because of the volume of business at Development Management Committee meetings, you will be able to speak for up to three minutes.

Follow these points to help you make the most of the opportunity:

  • The members of the Committee will each have a copy of a report written by the planning officer assessing the proposal. This will summarise the comments the Council has received and will recommend approval or refusal.
  • You can get a copy of this report from five days before the meeting. View Development Management Committee agendas & reports
  • It may help to have a note of the main points you wish to cover. You are welcome to read from a prepared text if you wish.
  • Try to be brief and to the point and keep to planning matters. The planning officer can help you.
  • Make sure your comments relate to issues the Committee can take into account. These include our Local Plan, the effect of an application on access, local amenities, neighbours or the character of an area.
  • Raising non-planning matters such as the impact on property values, competition with existing businesses and private concerns such as covenants will not influence the Committee’s decision.
  • Avoid derogatory or defamatory statements. There is no legal protection for comments made at meetings.
  • If you wish to show any photographs or plans (up to three), these must be submitted electronically to by 5pm the day before the meeting. This is to ensure we have sufficient time to prepare and check the presentation before the meeting. Any photomontages or images of the appearance of the proposal will only be accepted if they are accompanied by a statement showing how they have been created based on the application plans. Written information is not permitted to be used as a visual aid.

The Democratic Services team will be happy to offer advice on presentation.