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Virtual Planning Meetings

The Council is now running planning and most other meetings online as a live streamed event via YouTube. You can even set a reminder to be notified for a scheduled planning meeting you may have a personal interest in when the meeting goes live. Another advantage is extending our knowledge of planning matters or other concerns that are addressed at such meetings, which can be difficult during physical meetings. For example, during the meeting of September 3rd, sunlight and daylight issues and the two main methods of assessing the impact of development, VSC and NSL were aired.

Anyone can watch and listen by logging in to However, if you wish to speak be sure that you register first, as only those who have registered their intention to speak can do so. There are rules about the amount of speaking time allocated to objectors or supporters.

Having attended two of these meetings I have been impressed with how well it works. The officers set out their report and recommendations clearly and can show key drawings and diagrams

by screen sharing. Applicants and objectors have generally been able to make their cases well. There are obvious benefits as it avoids having to turn out on a cold or wet night to get to the Town Hall. The sessions are also recorded so that you can watch them later if you are unable to watch them live. You can even pause them if for any reason you are interrupted. The technology also seems reliable as long as you have a good internet connection. The downside, of course, is that not everyone has the IT skills or the equipment to join in. However, on balance I would say it is a success and ESSA would encourage you to tune in to a meeting just to see how it works.

Barry Munday

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