Strictly speaking no, local councils can't hold valid meetings via zoom or any other online platform. Valid council meetings must be held in public, after giving 3 clear days notice and with an appropriate agenda, quorum, etc. etc. However, if you have a scheme of delegation in place where you have delegated authority to the clerk to put forward a response in respect of planning applications, an informal meeting via zoom to gather general opinions on a planning application might be in accordance with that scheme of delegation. I know a lot of councils are holding informal group sessions for training/briefing sessions etc. and then making a decision via an officer scheme of delegation. It's not recommended by NALC but in a situation with ever increasing covid rates, vulnerable councillors, staff and the public it's not entirely surprising, albeit potentially open to challenge.