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COVID-19: Use of premises for takeaways extended

As the UK embraces its second lockdown, the Government has announced an extension to permitted development rights that allows restaurants, pubs and cafés to provide takeaway services says commercial property agent Prop-Search.

Initially introduced back in March to support the hospitality sector, permitted development rights were granted to allow for a temporary change of use from either Class A3 (restaurants and cafes), Class A4 (drinking establishments) to a use for the provision of takeaway food, which includes any use within Class A5 (hot food takeaways) and any hot or cold pre-prepared food for takeaway or delivery. 

This loosening of restrictions was due to end on 22 March 2021, but Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has now confirmed that the measures will be extended for a further 12 months.

Samantha Jones, an Associate Director and Retail Specialist at Prop-Search, said “This is undoubtedly welcomed news for the hospitality sector and means that businesses could now offer takeaway services through to 22 March 2022, without having to go through a planning application process.”

The Government is also understood to be considering making this a permanent arrangement.

She added: “Whilst currently pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen their doors again on 02 December with the end of lockdown, the takeaway provision does provide another platform for them to continue to provide customers with their favourite meals to enjoy at home.”

Whilst the usual requirement to secure planning permission has fallen away, to benefit from this change, businesses are required to inform their local planning authority as to when the new use will begin and end.

Businesses also need to remember that they are currently restricted - due to the Covid pandemic - from selling alcohol from their premises to takeaway but can still provide delivery or click and collect services.

In July, the Government also made it easier for businesses and communities to host markets and stalls.  This temporary change had been due to expire on 31 December 2020 and is now being extended by another year until 31 December 2021.

Thursday, November 12, 2020