Changes announced include:
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced (11 November 2020) that restaurants, pubs and cafes will get automatic freedoms to provide takeaway services for another year.
The measures are intended to help give these businesses the confidence they need to continue to serve customers and retain their staff. It will also help them adapt to longer-term changes they may wish to introduce, such as serving their customers from market stalls.
This follows Robert Jenrick relaxing rules in March so businesses could offer a takeaway service during the pandemic, without having to go through a planning application process. This was due to end on 23 March 2021 but will now be extended by another year. The government has said it will also consider whether to make these reforms permanent.
The freedoms introduced in March and extended today mean pubs and restaurants can focus on selling food takeaways if they choose to, while being able to return to operating as a pub or restaurant from 2 December.
In July, the government also made it easier for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls. Mr Jenrick has today extended this option for the whole of next year. Again, the government will consider whether to make these reforms permanent.
The government also helped businesses offer more alfresco dining by making it easier and less expensive to get an outdoor seating licence and is similarly keeping this under review.
Under the national restrictions currently in place, markets can sell takeaways from stalls. However, the stalls must not have seating areas.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
“We’ve taken decisive action since the beginning of the pandemic to support our pubs, restaurants, cafes and markets. Making it easier for them to provide takeaways has helped these businesses to adapt and helped sustain many through an unbelievably difficult year.
“That’s why I am extending these simple but effective reforms to support these businesses – helping give them and their employees more certainty over the coming year. It will also be a boost for their customers who can now look forward to continuing to enjoy meals at home from their favourite restaurants. As these reforms have made such a difference, I will be considering making them permanent.”
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality said:
“The ability to provide takeaway services was a valuable lifeline for many hospitality venues, not just during the lockdown but in the days of reduced and restricted trade, too.
“The extension will undoubtedly help many. For pubs, restaurants and cafes to operate as takeaways gives them a previously untapped revenue stream and a much better chance to survive what will be a tough winter. It will help avoid waste and allow businesses to retain a valuable link with their customers and communities.”
Laws introduced today are also:
The right introduced last March allowing pubs, restaurants and cafes to provide a food takeaway service will be extended until 23 March 2022. Businesses must continue to tell their local planning authority when the new use begins and ends. The takeaway measure applies to food. Serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to licensing laws.
Businesses should contact their local council to enquire about a licence for an outdoor stall.
Last summer the government introduced laws to provide greater freedom over how people use their land. This doubled the length of time that temporary structures can be placed on land without needing an application for planning permission.
The time limits in the existing right for the temporary use of land were doubled from 14 days to 28 days for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose.
This makes it easier to host markets, stalls, marquees, car boot sales and fairs for longer without needing a planning application. This was due to expire on 31 December 2020 and is now being extended by another year until 31 December 2021.
The government has today amended the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/596) to remove permitted development rights for demolition of theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues.