Helping the restaurant and pub industry to adapt to the challenges presented by Covid-19 has required the UK planning system to respond quickly and proactively. Given the surge in enquiries we have received from the hospitality industry recently, we thought it useful to provide some answers to frequently asked questions raised by our clients.
If I have a restaurant/bar/cafe and want to start offering takeaway, what planning permission do I need?
The government has introduced a 12-month temporary permitted development right (PDR) called ‘Class DA’. This allows the temporary change of use of a pub (Class A4 – drinking establishment), restaurant (Class A3 – restaurant and cafe) and a drinking establishment with expanded food provision (Class AA) to temporarily provide takeaway food.
The 12-month period started on 24 March 2020 at 10am and, at the time of writing, will expire on 23 March 2021.
Do I need to do anything if I have started offering takeaway services to my customers?
The short answer is YES! Even though the nature of this temporary PDR suggests the planning hurdles have been removed, you still need to contact your local planning authority (LPA) to notify them if your building and/or any land within its curtilage is being, or will be potentially used, for the provision of takeaway food, at any time until 23 March 2021.
Also, it is worth checking that there are no planning conditions on site which restrict this type of use change. If there are, this would, in normal circumstances, prevent you taking advantage of the temporary PDR and you would need to vary the condition via a S.73 application.
In terms of defining what ‘provision of takeaway food’ means, the guidelines advise that for the purposes of Class DA: the ‘provision of takeaway food’ includes any use for any purpose within Class A5 of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order (hot food and takeaway), and any use for the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.
How do I let my local planning authority know I have changed the use of my restaurant / pub to a takeaway?
Firstly you will need to find your local planning authority – this is dependent on the postcode of the site of your premises – you can check on this website to find out which LPA is relevant to your location.
As a business, you should ideally email your council planning department and advise them of:
- the name and address of the premises that are now offering a takeaway service;
- relevant contact details should the LPA need any further information.
Many councils have also published information on other things to consider if you are offering a new takeaway service, so be sure to check on your local council website to ensure that relevant non-planning issues are considered e.g. health and safety, licensing etc.
What if my takeaway business is a success and I want to continue post 23 March 2021?
As this PDR for change of use to takeaway is only temporary, if you want to extend this for future business needs, we can advise you on the most suitable planning application for your development aspirations, be this a full planning application or a S.73 to vary a condition.
We have assisted many businesses in the hospitality and restaurant sector with their planning permissions, including ‘dark’/’cloud’ kitchens and have a wealth of expertise on how to approach a successful application. If you would like to speak with one of our consultants to discuss your potential application or whether or not the temporary PDR’s apply to you then call us on 01242 501003 or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can best help and to receive a fee quote for our services.
FURTHER INFORMATION: MHCLG – 17 March 2020