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Coronavirus - Permitted development rights for takeaway services

On Tuesday 24th March, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force, bringing into effect the Government’s announcement that restaurants and drinking establishments may temporarily provide a takeaway service in response to the recent shutdown due to Covid-19.

The Order expands on existing permitted development rights by inserting a new Class DA, which allows restaurants / cafés (Use Class A3) and drinking establishments (Use Class A4) to provide takeaway services for up to one year, expiring on 23 March 2021.

The new right is subject to the condition that you must notify the local planning authority if you intend to provide a takeaway service under Class DA. This change of use does not override the existing planning use class for the property, and the property will revert to its previous planning use when you stop providing a takeaway service, or otherwise on 23 March 2021.

What steps should my business take to provide a takeaway service?

If your business is a restaurant, café and/or drinking establishment that is recently shut down and you wish to take advantage of this new right, or have already done so following the Government’s announcement, you should take the following steps:

1. Check your existing planning permission

Carefully check the existing planning permission for the property, as this may restrict permitted development rights. The Government has not yet clarified whether the new rights override instances where permitted development rights have been removed, and, whilst it is unlikely that local planning authorities would enforce against such a breach, you may wish to seek clarification of this.

2.  Notify the local planning authority

In order to comply with the condition of the new permitted development right, you must notify the local planning authority that you will be providing a takeaway service.

3.  Check your lease

If you occupy the property under a lease, you should check the permitted use/user clause, as you may be restricted by your landlord as to what you can use the property for. You should also check whether your lease contains a restriction on trading hours. If the lease restricts the use of the property and/or trading hours, you should seek consent from your landlord to temporarily provide a takeaway service.

4. Contact your insurer

Confirm that you will be offering a takeaway service and comply with any requirements they impose.

If you have any questions about the temporary change to planning permitted development rights, or anything else that has effected your business during the coronavirus pandemic, you can call us by contacting your nearest office or email us at contact@duttongregory.co.uk