Further Measures Announced to Enable Businesses to Operate Safely and Support Economic Recovery

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On 25 March 2021, the Secretary of State laid a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament which emphasised local planning authorities should continue to take a positive and flexible approach to planning enforcement action to support economic recovery and support social distancing while it remains in place as England moves towards Step 2 of the COVID response roadmap.

Specifically:

  • Where there are planning restrictions on retail opening hours, local planning authorities should not seek to undertake enforcement action which would result in unnecessary restriction of retail hours between 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday from Step 2 of the roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) until the introduction of Step 4 of the roadmap (scheduled for no earlier than 21 June) to support the safe reopening of non-essential retail shops;
  • The current Written Ministerial Statement about planning enforcement and the delivery of food and other essential goods to retailers will be extended until Step 4 of the roadmap (scheduled for no earlier than 21 June); and
  • The current Written Ministerial Statement encouraging flexible construction working hours will remain in place until 30 September 2021.

The Written Ministerial Statement can be found here.

To further support the hospitality sector as the economy reopens, it is also the Government’s intention to create a temporary permitted development right to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to erect temporary moveable outdoor structures for the summer season.

For the first time, this will also apply to listed buildings provided there is no harm to the heritage asset.

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Tuesday, 17 May 2022

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