The advice given in this article is correct as of 31st March 2020. The situation with Coronavirus is developing rapidly, so please do check our COVID-19 Insights Hub for the latest updates.

On 20 March 2020 the Prime Minister announced the closure (that evening) of all restaurants, cafes and pubs. The intention of the closures was to assist in reducing the spread of Coronavirus.

In order to both assist business and provide alternative takeaway facilities for local residents, new permitted development rights were to be brought in to allow these businesses to continue to provide for their communities.

The new measures contained in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 (SI 2020/330) aims to alleviate some of the pressure in the food chain by providing an alternative way for restaurants, cafes and pubs to provide food. Such establishments are now permitted to provide a takeaway or delivery service. There is no application process required; businesses only need to notify the Local Planning Authority (in writing) if they intend to provide takeaway food. The new measures are already assisting some businesses to maintain cash flow, retain staff and provide a much needed service to local communities.

The new right is a temporary measure which is due to expire on 23rd March 2021. At the end of that period the use of the building, and any land within the curtilage, shall revert to its previous lawful use.

Tenants under businesses leases should check their leases to see if a temporary change of use requires landlord’s consent.