Coronavirus outbreak affects planning committees and appeals

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has issued guidance on site visits, hearings, inquiries and events. Full details can be found here.

In brief:

  • Hearings and inquiries – will ‘not proceed at the present time’. The feasibility of utilising technological solutions is being considered although PINS acknowledge that this is not straightforward given the need for fairness to all parties, particularly third parties.
  • Site visits – Unaccompanied site visits will go ahead where the Inspector can travel without using public transport. Accompanied site visits will not proceed at present.
  • Local Plan Examinations – The two local plan examinations which were due to take place this week have both been postponed and local plan hearings cannot currently take place.

We are also aware that a number of local authorities are taking the decision to postpone or cancel upcoming planning committees.

We will of course be updating our clients directly on the latest developments where relevant. In the meantime, if you have any queries please feel free to contact a member of the Firstplan team. All our staff remain contactable via our Direct Dials and emails, but should you have any issues please use our main number on 020 3096 7000.