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26/03/2020

Coronavirus Act allows virtual planning committee meetings

Words: Laura Edgar
Virtual meeting / iStock-508060428

Planning committee meetings will be able to be held virtually during restrictions implemented to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) under emergency legislation.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 gained royal assent yesterday (25 March) 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.

This new 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.

Image credit | iStock

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