More pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to serve customers outdoors in plans announced by the Government this week.
The government will simplify and reduce the costs of the licensing process for outdoor seating and stalls, making it easier for people to safely drink and dine outside.
Proposed planning freedoms will mean that outdoor markets, pop-up car-boot sales or summer fairs will not need a planning application, which will transform the way people shop and socialise.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to use car parks and terraces as dining and drinking areas, using their existing seating licenses.
Temporary changes to licensing laws will allow many more licensed premises, such as pubs and restaurants, to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. Customers will be able to buy their drinks from a pub and consume them elsewhere, making social distancing easier.
These measures will give an immediate and much-needed boost to many businesses, whilst supporting them to successfully reopen over the summer.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has said:
“I know we all look forward to seeing our pubs, cafes and restaurants open their doors again and I’m determined to give them a helping hand to get back on their feet and their staff back to work safely.
“That’s why we are introducing changes to make it quicker, easier and cheaper for them to set up outdoor seating and street stalls to serve food and drink.”
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has welcomed the news:
“These measures are welcome and will help Isle of Wight pubs, restaurants and cafes to adapt their operations so that they can welcome back residents and visitors during the summer season.
“We want visitors to be able to enjoy their time on the Island. The relaxing of the red tape will help businesses to make that possible but in a Covid-secure way.
“I encourage the Isle of Wight Council to do all it can to help businesses with licensing processes.”
Changes for the hospitality industry introduced by the government will:
- reduce the consultation period for applications for pavement licences to from 28 calendar days to 5 working days, and grant consent after 10 working days if the council does not issue a decision
- set a lower application fee for a pavement and street cafe licence of up to £100
- remove the need for a planning application for outdoor markets and marquees, meaning they can be set up for longer
- provide more freedoms for areas to hold car-boot sales and summer fairs
- Councils will need to continue to ensure their communities are consulted on licensing applications, that waste is disposed of responsibly, and that access to pavements and pedestrianised areas is not compromised.
Off-sales, including home deliveries and takeaways, will be allowed in the hours that alcohol can already be sold for consumption on the premises. This automatic extension will eliminate the time and cost to businesses who may wish to apply for a variation of their licence.
The new rules on selling alcohol for consumption off the premises do not apply to those who have had permission for this refused or taken away in the last 3 years.
Businesses should contact their local council to enquire about a licence for an outdoor stall.
The government intends to introduce new laws giving people greater freedom over how they use their land by doubling the length of time that temporary structures can be placed on land without needing an application for planning permission.
For the current calendar year only, the time limits in the existing right for the temporary use of land will be doubled from 14 days to 28 days for holding a market or motor car and motorcycle racing, and from 28 days to 56 days for any other purpose. This makes it easier to host markets, stalls, marquees, car boot sales and summer fairs.
The government is removing the requirement for councils to get planning permission to set up new markets, supporting a revival of markets and helping to transform the way people shop and socialise.