Planning Committee abandoned for second time in three months

A meeting of the council’s Planning Committee was abandoned for the second time in less than three months after sound problems at Brighton Town Hall.

Councillors gathered in the chamber this afternoon (Wednesday 7 September) because they are required by law to attend meetings in person to make their decisions.

But others can take part remotely, including officials, applicants, their agents and objectors.

And, although the public can attend in person, Brighton and Hove City Council webcasts its meetings, including committee meetings, so that many more people can follow them online.

Spacewords Brighton

Councils switched to remote meetings as an emergency measure during the coronavirus pandemic and, although councillors have returned to the chamber, many officials still attend virtually.

The meeting today would have been held at Hove Town Hall, where most committees usually meet, but the chamber there is closed until the end of the month for ceiling repairs.

Rain poured in through the roof when the Planning Committee met there on Wednesday 8 June, forcing that meeting to be abandoned as well.

This afternoon, Green councillor Leo Littman, who chairs the Planning Committee, started the meeting but was told that those trying to listen online were unable to hear him properly.

Despite a change of microphone, the problems continued, leaving Councillor Littman with no choice but to abandon the meeting at which five planning applications were due to be decided.

He said: “It is important that decisions are made in a timely manner across the board. We’ve been getting better at this.

“It is a real shame when something as simple as a technical issue prevents us from determining the items on today’s agenda.”

It was unclear today whether the council will call a special meeting to deal with the five planning applications or add them to the agenda next month.

The technical team said that the sound issues should be resolved by Monday (12 September) when the council’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee is due to meet at Brighton Town Hall.

  1. sd Reply

    The entire planning committee is a joke. Brighton and Hove City Council let those with money destroy wildlife habitats for expensive housing.

    Surely we can re-purpose the masses of unused commercial space instead?

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