The world has been turned on its head. We have a whole slew of new words and concepts (Social Distancing and Furlough are enough to be going on with) and we watch a daily rate of people passing away that would previously been considered as incomprehensible.
We’ve settled into a new way of life and while the world of Zoom, Teams and GotoMeeting seems to have naturally replaced the rhythm of endless coffees and teas – there are very real questions about what happens while we observe these new ‘guidelines’.
Clearly public safety and well-being is of paramount importance; however every Local Authority also has one eye on economic vitality and a ‘rapid-as-possible’ return to business as usual. It’s important to recognise not only are planning departments continuing to operate, so are councillors and the wider community of stakeholders – many of whom are isolated at home – with time to respond and engage on applications.
Government (Westminster) and Local Government are also coming to terms with the new world. Previous legislation didn’t allow for decisions to be taken by planning committees without being present – that’s now changed. The benefits of a rapid switch to digital technology; of understanding the daily challenges facing Councillors and appreciating the pressures of a unique situation are absolutely critical.
We’re still working, helping shape messages, managing delivery of those messages and supporting the safe passage of planning applications. Councillors are talking, and listening, decisions are being taken. We’re on hand to help navigate these incredibly challenging times.
If you’d like to get in touch, then please don’t hesitate to drop us a line here.