Coronavirus Act Allows Virtual Planning Committee Meetings

The Coronavirus Act 2020 will allow planning committee meetings to be held virtually. This will allow important planning decisions to be agreed during the restrictions implemented to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Coronavirus Act 2020 gained royal assent after being fast-tracked through both the House of Commons and the House of Lords to receive approval from the Queen. 

The 1972 Local Government Act requires councillors to be present to decide applications.

The Coronavirus Act makes provisions for “persons to attend, speak at, vote in, or otherwise participate in, local authority meetings without all of the persons, or without any of the persons, being together in the same place”.

The regulation is for meetings required to be held before 7 May 2021.

When the coronavirus bill was published last week, it did not include this provision, but an amendment was tabled to address the issue of committee meetings.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 can be read in full on the government’s legislation website.

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