Temporary Permitted Development Rights introduced by the Government during COVID-19 Outbreak: In light of Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday 20th March of the stronger measures being enforced by the Government for the foreseeable future in order to try to combat the spread of COVID-19; all bars, restaurants and cafes have been closed. To try to aid small businesses within the food and beverage industry during this unprecedented time, the government has been quick to relax current regulations to allow businesses to operate as hot food take away and delivery services.
Current Laws for Change of Use
Currently, the Town and Country Planning Act (Use Classes) Order 1987 defines Use Classes. If a restaurant or cafe (Use Class A3) wishes to change the use of the building to higher class (A4 or A5), this would usually require an application for planning permission or prior approval from the Local Authority.
Temporary Rights Granted to Businesses to Change Use without Planning Permission
In support of businesses across the country, the government have stated that it will introduce temporary permitted development rights to allow an establishment to change its use temporarily to hot food take away (Class A5). The government will legislate to bring forward these temporary permitted development rights. However, once this has come into force, a restaurant or pub will need to notify their Local Authority of when they will be operating as a hot food take away and when the change of use will end.
Make Sure You Review Your Lease Before Changing Use
Tenants that are intending to exercise the right to change use of their premises as a hot food take away will need to consider if there are any restrictions on permitted use in their leases. If a lease expressly prohibits the change of use without prior consent of the landlord, this will amount to a breach. If this is the case, tenants should discuss matters with their landlord before changing use of the establishment.
SO Legal Solicitors Eastbourne – 01323 407555
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SO Legal Solicitors Uckfield – 01825 729840
SO Legal Solicitors Notting Hill – 0203 9677700