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PINS issues update as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Words: Laura Edgar

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has updated its guidance in line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions set to come into effect tomorrow (27 January).

The government's Plan B measures, which included working from home where possible, were brought in as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 increased daily infection rates in the run-up to Christmas.

From 13 September 2021, local planning authorities in England resumed the pre-pandemic practice of holding face-to-face casework events, but also providing a virtual option in case restrictions change. When Plan B measures were brought in, local planning authorities were advised to have preparations in place to run events virtually.

With the lifting of restrictions, PINS expects events to run as they did in autumn 2021. Director of operations Graham Stallwood has written to local planning authorities to inform them of the changes and that they should be prepared for in-person and virtual hearings and inquiries.

PINS also said it is continuing work on developing a new way of operating for events that is accessible for all parties involved and meets its environmental policy requirements.

Read Graham Stallwood's letter here (pdf).

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