Permitted development rights extended for COVID-19
Published: 07 Apr 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government decided to instruct pubs, restaurants and cafes, as well as other industries and services, to shut down. Whilst financial aid is available, the Government has also tried to use the planning system in England to ensure some businesses can continue to operate and generate income.

An amendment to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order SI 2015/596 allows the change of use of the following premises to allow them to be used for takeaway services:

  • restaurants and cafes;
  • drinking establishments;
  • mixed use premises which cover both of the above uses;
  • drinking establishments with enhanced food provision.

This change of use can occur without the need for planning permission, as long as certain conditions are met. Furthermore, this permitted change of use cannot be blocked by an Article 4 Direction, which are commonly used to block permitted development rights in specific areas, such as a conservation area.

Not only does this provide a potential income for local businesses but is also potentially increases food supply options to those who are self-isolating.

The permitted development right is temporary however. It can only be used until 23 March 2021.

For more information, see the:

  • Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order SI 2020/330.