Bill to streamline planning approval for outdoor seating passed

23 July 2020 by
Bill to streamline planning approval for outdoor seating passed

Applications for outdoor seating licences will be determined in a maximum of 10 working days and cost businesses no more than £100, under legislation passed last night.

The Planning and Business Act has streamlined the planning process in a bid to help operators maximise covers while social distancing measures are in place.

Obligations have been put in place, however, to ensure that there is disabled access and that operators make "reasonable provisions" to provide smoking and non-smoking areas outdoors.

The bill has also deregulated alcohol licensing, allowing off-sales to 11pm, although this will not override any pre-existing licence constraints.

The hospitality industry has for months been calling for the deregulation of guidelines to help businesses recover from the months of lockdown put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Music venue the Piano Works spearheaded the #UKGrandOutdoorCafé campaign, which gained the support of more than 150 restaurants, pub, bar and café operators, representing more than 1,000 venues.

These included Prezzo, PizzaExpress, D&D London, the Breakfast Club, Mission Mars and Revolution Bars.

The campaign will now encourage the public to purchase vouchers through incentives and enjoy the rest of the 2020 summer at the country's restaurants, bars and cafés.

Tristan Moffat, operations director at the Piano Works, says: "When we first proposed the #UKGrandOutdoorCafe, it seemed like a pipe dream. Two months later, here we are! We are beyond delighted and excited that the government has allowed the campaign to become a reality."

Picture: Shutterstock

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