On 5 March 2021 the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government clarified the Government’s amendments to planning and licensing law to support the reopening of outdoor hospitality.
The Secretary of State’s 5 March letter confirms the following Government support for the reopening of outdoor hospitality (some of which was already in place following recent amendments):
- The pavement licence procedure brought in by the Business and Planning Act 2020 to allow premises licence holders to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to their premises is to be extended to 30 September 2022. The current provisions allowing pavement licences were due to expire on 30 September 2021.
- Last year the Government extended the number of days on which permitted development rights authorised temporary events to be carried on from 28 to 56 days. Following a recent extension, the operation of this right has been extended to 31 December 2021. This right may also be used by pubs to authorise the erection of marquees for up to 56 days in the calendar year (to the extent planning permission was required for this anyway). This right does not apply to listed buildings or land within the curtilage of a listed building, for caravan sites, for the display of advertisements and certain other exclusions apply to land which is within a site of special scientific interest.
- A permitted development right originally introduced on 25 June 2020 to allow a local authority (or an entity on behalf of a local authority) to use land to hold a market has been extended to 23 March 2022 (provided the land is not within a site of special scientific interest). In the context of this permitted development right, “local authority” includes a parish council.
- Permitted development rights allowing restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to serve takeaway food have also been extended to March 2022, subject to certain conditions and limitations.
At the time of writing we are waiting for the secondary legislation to give effect to the extension of the pavement licence regime. It is not yet clear whether this legislation will also provide for the temporary modification of the Licensing Act 2003 to allow for temporary off-sales of alcohol which was introduced by the Business and Planning Act 2020 at the same time as pavement licences.
In addition, those looking to take advantage of the various permitted development rights highlighted by the Secretary of State are advised to familiarise themselves with the conditions and limitations which apply to them. Care should also be taken on a case by case basis to examine existing planning permissions (and their conditions) and any planning obligations affecting premises, as well as any applicable Article 4 Directions or title or tenancy restrictions which may affect the operation of these rights.
If you wish to discuss the implications of the COVID-19 virus and the Government’s response to it for your hospitality business please contact one of our specialist Leisure & Tourism sector team.
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