In response to the prime ministers road map for easing the national lockdown restrictions the following measures have been put in place specifically to help as many venues as possible reopen on the 12th of April to serve customers outdoors exclusively.
Back in July 2020 pavement licence provisions were introduced as part of the Business and Planning Act 2020. These were in essence a simplified route for pubs, restaurants and cafes to obtain a temporary pavement licence to place furniture including outdoor tables and seating on the public highway. The application fee was capped at £100 and a 10-working day consultation and determination period was put in place in order to help as many businesses as possible.
Local authorities were expected to grant licences for a period of 12 months or more, unless there is a good reason not to do so. Therefore under last years act the government would expect licences granted to continue to apply into this summer so that businesses do not have to reapply or be charged a further application fee.
Currently these temporary provisions are due to expire on 30th September 2021 but Parliament will be debating whether to extend these.
Greater flexibility was provided to businesses last year to hold outdoor events without the need for a planning application, and businesses such as pubs who wished to set up temporary marquees were also including in the exemption for planning application.
The number of days allowed for a temporary event moved from 28 days to 56 days and this provision has been extended until 31st December 2021.
The measures introduced to help support restaurants and drinking establishments such as pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food when they were otherwise due to be closed because of coronavirus restrictions. These measures will continue to apply until March 2022.