Takeaway businesses have been warned they risk being caught out by changes to planning laws if they don’t pay close attention to new government rules.
Many small businesses that have chosen to operate a takeout food service may be unaware of the conditions of permitted development rights imposed on the sector.
The ‘Class DA’ new permitted development right, which came into force on 24 March 2020, was brought in as a lifeline for businesses selling food or drink for consumption on the premises who were forced to close due to coronavirus.
Keith McKinney, a partner at law firm Aaron & Partners, said it was in effect a relaxing of the planning laws, allowing such businesses – who were forced to close as a result of the pandemic – to operate temporarily as takeaways, without having to obtain consent from their local planning authority.
He said that businesses taking advantage of this new right, or considering doing so, should be aware that it is subject to a number of conditions:
– The relevant planning authority must be notified of the intention to provide a takeaway service.
– The temporary change of use does not affect the existing use of the property.
– The business must revert to its previous lawful use when it stops providing a takeaway service, and by no later than 23 March 2021.
He explained: “These changes are necessary to enable small businesses to adapt and survive during the coronavirus pandemic, however it’s clear that there is still some confusion for business owners trying to navigate this period.
“Businesses intending to take advantage of the new permitted development right should make sure they contact their local planning authority to let them know they are operating a takeaway service and ensure that the business reverts to its previous use by 21 March 2021.”