One of the supposed strengths of the UK planning system is the involvement of local politicians - elected councillors - to ensure that decision making is taken as close to the public as possible.

The advent of Covid-19 has raised legitimate questions about how to maintain the involvement of the public without the public being involved (at least in person).  

Virtual committees are springing up to fill the void, but some Councils are seeing the benefit of using executive powers to get decisions through quickly and efficiently on the premise of "keeping the Country moving".  

That is a noble aim, but caution must be exercised - without the necessary compliance with the requirements of national legislation (and each Council's own constitution!), such decisions could be open to a myriad of legal challenges which, if successful, could take the decision maker back to square one.