A COUNCIL has held its first virtual meeting because of coronavirus.

Burnley Borough's development control committee took place remotely and broadcast on YouTube.

The meeting last night is likely to be the first of many if the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

Blackburn with Darwen Council is now preparing to hold its planning committee next month and Annual Council Meeting on June 4 digitally.

Last night's meeting, which should have been in Burnley Town Hall, approved an application by the Hallmark Group to turn Victory House on Lowerhouse Lane into offices, a training centre and a beauty clinic. The Victorian former schoolhouse was previously occupied by a printing company.

The councillors also approved an application for extensions to a semi-detached house in Thursby Road, Lanehead.

Burnley council economic development boss and Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Gordon Birtwistle said: "It went well.

"It was open to the public to join in digitally. It took an hour instead of 30 minutes to decide two applications.

"There will have to be more including Full Council with 45 members on May 27 which could be chaos."

Blackburn with Darwen Council planning chairman Cllr Dave Smith said: "We are looking at holding the borough's Annual Council Meeting and the planning committee on June 18 remotely."