Greater flexibility for Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes announced

The Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks, as part of plans to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak.  Once the measure is introduced, businesses will be able to operate as a takeaway without the need for a planning application.

Businesses will be able to serve hot food and drinks as a takeaway to assist people who are self-isolating, but the serving of alcoholic drinks will continue to be subject to existing licencing laws.

In Parliament, the government will introduce a time limited permitted development right through secondary legislation to allow the temporary change of use of a pub (A4 – drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 – restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months only. Pubs and restaurants wishing to offer takeaways will be required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said that the government was committed to supporting “people, businesses and communities through this difficult time”.  He added: “These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country.”