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Virtual planning meeting to keep Broadland moving forward.

Broadland District Council’s next planning meeting is to be held remotely via the internet as part of a move by the local authority to ensure decisions are not held up during the Covid-19 crisis.

The next meeting at 9.30am on 20 May, will be held using Zoom – a widely used video communications tool. It means councillors can continue to hold meetings and make decisions by connecting remotely. Voting will continue to be transparent as Zoom provides for the virtual meetings to be made public.

Local people who want to speak on any planning applications are asked to register as they would normally do. They will then be sent a link. When they click on it they can enter the meeting. Other members of the public who do not want to speak but would like to attend can still do so but will also need to register so they too can be sent the link.

Government guidelines now allow for virtual meetings because of social distancing measures.

Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Sue Lawns said: “Holding virtual meetings means we can continue to be transparent and open in the decision making process. It also means we can get planning applications moving so once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, people and businesses in Broadland can get on with their lives knowing if their application has been successful.”

“We are always thinking of new and innovative ways to get local people involved and the current crisis should not stop that from happening.”

Broadland District Council Cabinet member, Lana Hempsall said: “Both Members and the officer team have worked really hard to make this virtual planning meeting possible and I’m really proud of what we have managed to achieve. We are using modern technology to allow us to hold our meeting while making sure that residents can still have their say. The agenda will be published on our website and anyone who would like to speak at the meeting will be asked to register.”

The closing date for registration for speaking or attending the meeting via the remote communications tool is May 15 2020.

The agenda for the meeting will be available online from today.