Planning and the making of planning decisions have not stopped because of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. The Coronavirus Act 2020 gave councils the ability to run planning committees remotely. However, even before this legislation became law many authorities were making new arrangements for planning decisions, including delegating decisions to officers and council leaders rather than scheduling committee meetings in a council chamber where the public could submit questions and statements and also speak.
Councils are acting under pressure from central government to keep planning consents and development going. You might have seen in the news or noticed in your own community that site work continues. This is because planning and development are not on hold.
We know that good planning decisions with committee scrutiny and public involvement are crucial for getting new homes with good sustainable transport. We are concerned that changes to the system might have an impact on the quality of what gets built.
Can we ask you to spend a few minutes answering some questions about how your local council is adapting their planning decision making process? If you let us know about any big developments that are due to be decided soon that would really help too.
Once we’ve got a picture of what is going on we hope to produce some advice on challenging large developments that come through planning at this time, with a view to ensuring sustainable transport isn’t forgotten when new homes are built.
It would be great to get your input by 18 May.