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Government consultation on changes to planning law to make outdoor measures for high streets permanent Published Date: 06/09/2021

This consultation contains proposed changes to two time-limited permitted development rights which were introduced to support businesses and the high street in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It covers moveable structures within the curtilage of a pub, café, restaurant, or historic visitor attractions and markets to be held by or on behalf of local authorities.

The Government said:

"The government has introduced a number of temporary permitted development rights since March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These rights gave planning freedoms which enabled businesses, local authorities, and health service bodies to react to the unprecedented situation brought about by the pandemic.

"In particular, some of these rights were introduced to help support business in re-opening and provide flexibility to encourage use of outdoor spaces. Having implemented these on a temporary basis, we are now interested in better understanding how these rights have been used, the benefits of retaining them and understanding the impacts of the rights, so a decision can be made as to their future.

"This consultation concerns two of the temporary rights that were implemented, and specifically seeks evidence of the impacts of the rights as they currently exist, and views on the future of the rights including any proposed mitigation if they were to be made permanent. It also seeks views on equalities considerations and the impacts on businesses, local authorities and communities.

"It is worth noting that there were 3 other temporary permitted development rights implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which are not subject to this consultation. The first, a right allowing pubs, cafes, and restaurants to operate as takeaways without needing to apply to change use will not be extended beyond 23 March 2022. This right was in place to support businesses which needed to operate solely as a takeaway due to coronavirus restrictions as this would usually constitute a change in use. These venues are able to continue to operate a takeaway service as ancillary to their main business in the absence of this right and as such the right can fall away.

"The second is a right which allows for additional days for the temporary use of land for any purpose, doubling the days allowed from 28 to 56 in 2020, and subsequently 2021. This right expires on 31 December 2021 and it is not proposed to extend the additional days.

"The third is a right allowing for emergency development by local authorities or health service bodies to respond to the spread of Coronavirus. The right enables local councils and health service bodies to respond and provide facilities to limit its spread, treat, test, care for and manage the recovery of patients. This right is due to expire on 31 December 2021 and will only be extended on a temporary basis if it is necessary to do so."

This consultation will run from 5 September 2021 to 14 November 2021.