Consultation launched on making pub marquees and street markets permanent

07 September 2021 by
Consultation launched on making pub marquees and street markets permanent

Planning reforms allowing pubs to put up marquees and street markets to run year-round could be made permanent under government proposals.

Ministers have launched a public consultation on whether to keep some measures brought in during the pandemic to help hospitality businesses trade outdoors.

These include allowing marquees and additional seating in the grounds of pubs, cafes, restaurants and historic visitor attractions.

The consultation is proposing this be made permanent, with a possible limit of 56 days per year. Views are being sought on introducing a height limit of four metres on structures and a size limit of no more than 50% of the existing buildings on site.

Reforms which allow street markets to be held by or on behalf of local authorities for an unlimited number of days, rather than under the previous 14-day allowance per year for temporary markets, could also be made permanent.

Secretary of state for Housing Robert Jenrick said: "As part of our vision to transform high streets into thriving places to work, visit and live, we intend to make as many of these measures permanent fixtures of British life as possible."

However, UKHospitality called for the extension of outdoor dining schemes to be included in the consultation.

Westminster City Council's popular alfresco scheme in Soho is due to come to an end in September, though businesses are calling for it to be extended. The programme is already being wound down and restaurants and bars have been banned from using outdoor parasols, gazebos and heaters since July. Traffic will also return to Soho's streets from 30 September.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities would all face "huge hurdles" in the autumn and winter.

She added: "The move by some councils to restrict outdoor seating and return traffic to these areas is a significant blow to our city centres and threatens a huge number of businesses and jobs. In order to rebuild, the hospitality industry and government, whether it be national or local, have to work together.

"Prior to the pandemic, hospitality represented 10% of overall employment numbers, and contributed £39b every year in tax revenue. It is in the interest of the country to have a thriving, dynamic and properly-supported hospitality sector and retaining these outdoor measures would help secure the recovery of a large and vital part of the UK economy."

Image: Texturemaster / Shutterstock

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