National consultants Pegasus Group are leading the way in tracking and reporting how Local Planning Authorities across England and Wales are adapting during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed on March 25, 2020 and, among a number of changes relevant to the planning industry, included provision for Local Authorities to change the way in which they hold their meetings. It allowed for meetings to be conducted using digital methods and virtual locations.
While some LPAs have quickly started to implement the new legislation, the majority are currently reviewing their position and have postponed meetings until they have fully considered the implications for their members and public participation.
From the beginning of the lockdown, Pegasus Group provided a regular review of the working practices of Local Planning Authorities across England and Wales to see how they are responding to this new legislation.
Now in its fifth week, the Pegasus Group LPA Coronavirus Impact Schedule provides a weekly update on the self-contingency measures being applied by LPAs in England and Wales.
Michelle Simpson-Gallego, who is co-ordinating the report for Pegasus Group, said: “We launched the schedule as we thought it would be a useful tool for us, our clients and the public sector.
“What it has revealed is the variation in practices and experiences across the country; while some authorities are embracing the opportunity to continue their work remotely, others are certainly more cautious.”
Information is derived from LPA websites and conversations with LPA staff, and then formatted by Pegasus Group into an easy to navigate report. The data is collated into 11 main regions and details are provided of the working procedures and practices, committee meetings and local plan/policy document production for LPAs across England and wales.
Each region also has an appointed member of the Pegasus Group team to deal with queries.
“The feedback we’ve had has been really positive,” added Michelle. “Not only are we getting new users, we are getting a high number of returning users confident in the knowledge that the information is updated as LPAs update their procedures.
“We also know that very many people have accessed the data via the link included on all Pegasus email signoffs, emails that go out to not only clients but planning officers, solicitors and stakeholders, so that is especially pleasing.”
To view the report, visit the Pegasus Group website at www.pegasusgroup.co.uk
Pegasus Group is a national consultancy with 14 offices across UK and Ireland offering extensive experience across all sectors of the development industry including planning, design, environment, economics and heritage.