Public asked to support social distancing efforts with return to non-virtual Planning Committees
From 4 April 2020, emergency regulations came into force enabling local authority virtual committee meetings to take place to ensure decision-making could still go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This format has worked very well with Council members, officers, and the public adapting flexibly during unprecedented circumstances.
The government recently confirmed that it will not be extending the emergency Coronavirus Act powers, meaning virtual committees will no longer take place and a recent legal challenge further clarified that virtual committees cannot continue in the absence of further government legislation. From 6 May 2021, councils therefore began holding face-to-face committee meetings allowing public attendance, which adhere to current COVID-19 guidance.
How will Planning Committee meetings be affected?
South Cambridgeshire District Council
South Cambridgeshire District Council will continue to hold a monthly ‘hybrid’ Planning Committee in line with current COVID-19 restrictions. We have successfully run two of these ‘hybrid’ committees, it means that Council Members will attend the committee in person, with the addition of technological solutions to allow officers and members of the public to call in and participate.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, we were unable to host more than four members of the public in the Council Chamber, so the use of technology allows us to be far more accessible. We will continue to live stream our Planning Committees too.
Cambridge City Council and Joint Development Control Committee
Cambridge City Council and the Joint Development Control Committee will begin holding Planning Committees at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. This will allow both, Council Members, officers, and public speakers to participate and engage with the committees. However, this does mean that the Committees will operate on an in-person basis and there will no longer be live streams of the Committee.
To find out how to participate, use the meetings calendar to locate the specific Committee and details will be posted in the agenda.
If members of the public wish to address the committee, please contact Democratic Services by 12 noon two working days before the meeting.
Please refer to public health details on agendas for COVID guidance.
For any queries contact:
- Email Cambridge City Council Democratic Services (Contact email address for Joint Development Control Committee too)
- Email South Cambridgeshire District Council Democratic Services