Temporary permitted development rights (PDR) which were introduced in April 2021 and which enabled the provision of moveable structures within the curtilage of pubs, cafes, restaurants and historic attractions without the need for planning permission, have now been made permanent.
In light of the previous Covid restrictions and the subsequent reduction in footfall in town centre areas, the temporary measures enabled establishments to still operate in the pandemic, providing a vital boost for struggling businesses.
As stated by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher ‘Making these measures permanent will help business and communities to build back better from the pandemic’, with hospitality businesses now able to install a gazebo or marquee year-round, thereby helping them to make better use of their outside space.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment No. 3) Order 2021 came into force in January 2022. The newly inserted Class G of Part 2 permits ‘the provision of one moveable structure within the curtilage, and for the purposes, of a building used for a purpose within:
(a) article 3(6)(p) or (q) (drinking establishments etc.) of the Use Classes Order(3); or
(b) Class E(b) (sale of food and drink etc.) of Schedule 2 to that Order.’
There are a number of restrictions attached to Part G which seek to address any potential amenity and visual impacts, including limits on the height and scale of the structures. In addition, development will not be permitted where a movable structure would be within 2 metres of the curtilage of any adjacent land that is used for a purpose within Part C (residential uses).
It is important to highlight that structures need to be placed on land within the curtilage of restaurants and pubs; however, these provisions will not apply to many town centre venues that do not benefit from forecourts, yards and gardens. It is currently unclear whether the Government will be proposing any new relaxations for the placement of tables and chairs and structures on the public highway, as it did in 2021.
Class BB of Part 4 ‘moveable structures for historic visitor attractions and listed pubs, restaurants etc’ allows historic visitor attractions and hospitality businesses operating in listed buildings to install a moveable structure for 120 days in a 12-month period, subject to prior approval in respect of siting and installation method. The new legislation is intended to provide additional flexibility while minimising the impacts on heritage sites.
The Government has also taken the opportunity to make permanent PDR’s which enable Councils to hold outdoor markets for an unlimited number of days, including the provision of movable structures related to this use (under Class BA of Part 12, Schedule 2 of the GDPO). The right excludes markets on sites designated as Scheduled Monuments and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
The introduction of these PDR’s on a permanent basis will no doubt come as welcome news to the hospitability sector, where reliance on outdoor trade can be a key issue.
Article by Joshua Hindle