COUNCIL chiefs are continuing to make vital planning decisions despite the cancellation of meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trafford Council's planning committee can no longer meet due to the Government’s rules on social distancing so decisions will now be taken by a specially selected group of planning officers and Councillors from the Planning and Development Management Committee.

The group is made up of Rebecca Coley, Trafford Council’s Head of Planning and Development, in consultation with Committee Chairman, Cllr Laurence Walsh, Vice Chairman, Cllr Aidan Williams and Opposition Spokesperson, Cllr Daniel Bunting.

The first set of applications to be considered through this process will be determined on Friday 17 April, 2020. A report pack will be published on the Council’s website on Tuesday 7 April, 2020.

Applicants and those who have made comments on the applications will be contacted directly by planning case officers with information specific to their circumstances.

In the first instance these arrangements will remain in place until May 31, 2020 and will be reviewed following new Regulations on remote Committee meetings.

Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council’s executive member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “The coronavirus epidemic has resulted in a number of issues surrounding the planning process.

"We have tried very hard to make sure we are still processing applications and making decisions with officers working from home.

“The rules regarding social distancing mean we cannot hold Planning meetings at the moment so this is the best way forward in actually making decisions on important planning applications.

"Doing this means applications will be dealt with and we can continue to support residents, businesses and investors in Trafford at this difficult time.”