The dates for the first virtual committee meetings to be held by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have been announced.

A meeting of the Development Control Committee will be held on Wednesday 20th May at 2pm, with committee members, officers and those wanting to speak attending remotely.

Another virtual meeting of the Development Control Committee is scheduled for Wednesday 27th May. The meetings will be live streamed so that they can be watched through the website in the same way as they would normally be webcast.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when social distancing measures were announced, the council had to postpone committee meetings. At that point councillors had to attend in person, but the government has since removed these restrictions in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Council Leader Cllr Ken Rhatigan said: “In line with government guidance about the importance of ensuring planning decisions can continue to be made, we have been focusing first on trialling how Development Control Committee meetings could be run virtually. A key part of this for us is that meetings should run as closely to their normal format as possible, especially around public participation.

“We have trialled the business version of the Zoom platform to run these meetings, following central government guidance about security. These trials with councillors and officers have gone well and we have now set the date for the first of these virtual Development Control Committee meetings. After these first meetings, the council will be rescheduling all types of virtual council meetings in line with government guidance and announcements.”