Published: 10:53, 23 March 2020
| Updated: 11:52, 23 March 2020
A council is halting all meetings following a public uproar and a cross-party petition.
Many other authorities across the county have already announced a temporary end to all formal meetings while the coronavirus outbreak continues to surge.
The ABC decision to hold last week's planning session was called "an assault on public safety and democracy" by Cllr Nathan Iliffe, and prompted a cross-party open letter to be written in opposition to the decision.
In the petition, the signatories likened the move of continuing meetings to "playing Russian roulette with the lives of staff, Councillors, and residents."
Despite being a highly contentious plan, only 82 members of the public were allowed to visit ABC's Civic Centre.
However far fewer turned up and a live-stream set up to broadcast the meeting failed, causing an early end to proceedings.
The meeting was postponed until March 30, five days after a separate and similarly impactful film studio plan was set to be discussed on Wednesday.
Now however, Ashford Borough Council has confirmed today that it will halt all face-to-face meetings for an indefinite period.
This will has been viewed as a success by the 30 councillors of all parties who signed the open letter which was released on Saturday.
A tweet from the authority said: "The Civic Centre is now closed to the public from this morning onwards. Only urgent pre booked meetings will still go ahead.
"However, we can still be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 01233 331111."
More by this authorCharlie Harman