An update was issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) yesterday evening to assist pub and restaurant businesses during this difficult period. Planning rules are being relaxed so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Government press release states:

“The Government will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation (negative SI) to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4-drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food takeaway for a period of up to 12 months only. Businesses will be required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends.”

Relaxation of the planning measures will be introduced ‘as soon as possible’ to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as hot food takeaways in order to serve people who are having to stay at home and self-isolate. The Government hopes that these changes should provide some flexibility to pub and restaurant businesses and help local communities during this difficult time.

Further information on this, can be found on the GOV.UK website here.

The Government has also urged planning authorities to relax their approach to delivery restrictions for retailers of food, sanitary and other essential items to stores to support the response to COVID-19. Further information can be found here – MHCLG Written Statement on delivery restrictions HCWS159.

If anyone would like further advice on this or discuss how we can help, please contact us.