The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down, wreaking havoc on health and jobs. As a result, many of us are spending far more time at home – prompting traffic levels to drop, along with air pollution and carbon emissions. Restrictions on travel and movement mean roads are now being used more by walkers and cyclists.
COVID-19 is causing widespread disruption to the UK planning system, which is there to ensure that the development and use of land is in the public interest. Recent legislation gave councils new powers to change the way they take planning decisions. This could undermine the public voice in planning and calls into question levels of transparency and democratic oversight of planning decisions.