Epsom and Ewell's Planning Committee will meet virtually for the first time this evening (May 13) amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the borough council (EEBC) have confirmed.

"This meeting will be held virtually using video and audio conference technology and will be open to the press and public to attend as observers either online or by telephone.

"There’s also continued provision for the public to contribute to the meeting in accordance with the council’s scheme for public speaking," a spokesperson for the council said.

EEBC revealed Wednesday that the first item on their agenda will be the revamping of the former Epsom Post Office building on the High Street.

The project, which has already been decided with the planning application approved, involves mostly aesthetic improvements to the facade of the property according to the EEBC planning website.

Councillor Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Planning Committee, referenced the government's advice that town planning continue despite the pandemic and urged residents to get involved.

“The Government has been very clear that the planning process must continue.

"This will be a key element in the economic recovery and continued investment in our borough at the end of this Covid-19 crisis.

“Planning Committee meetings have our highest public engagement and residents’ participation is very important.

"Our online meeting means that anyone who is interested in the democratic process can follow it live using either the internet, without the need for any additional software, or a telephone," he said.

The news comes just days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that workers in several notable industries including construction should be "actively encouraged" to return to work despite the risks associated with the Covid-19 coronavirus.