As part of the Coronavirus Act 2020 passed by Parliament, Councils are now able to hold virtual meetings for planning matters such as public meetings. Until now it had been requirement for local government to provide public physical access to certain planning meetings.
This temporary measure should play a part in preventing a backlog of planning applications and ensure the safety of the public whilst social distancing rules are still in force.
Councils will need to take advantage of the virtual technology to be able to adapt to these new rules. An example of this in action comes from Waltham Forest where they have confirmed that their planning committee held a meeting with four councillors in the room but up to 60 other people attending through video conferencing.