Government to extend rights on outside marquees and moveable structures for pubs

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Outdoor areas: pubs could be able to use outside structures such as marquees (image: Getty/mrorange002)
Outdoor areas: pubs could be able to use outside structures such as marquees (image: Getty/mrorange002)

Related tags: Planning, Planning permission, Alcoholic beverage, Beer

Pubs could be able to keep marquees and moveable structures introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic under new Government plans

The temporary measures called permitted development rights (PDR), which were given to pubs and hospitality businesses, during the pandemic could become permanent as the Government has launched a consultation.

The Government has said it wants to make these permanent so people can continue to enjoy outdoor hospitality and local attractions, and businesses can innovate to build back better from the pandemic. 

The consultation, which covers a range of structures from pubs, historic visitor attractions and outside markets will run until 14 November 2021.

Planning permission

In April 2021, pubs, including listed building, were allowed to install marquees in beer gardens for the entire summer instead of 28 days currently allowed, without the requirement for planning permission​. 

The Government is asking for views on whether there should be a limit on the number of days that this can be used per calendar year. 

It has proposed that this limit should be 56 days and is interested in getting views on whether the limit should be longer than 56 days, or whether there should be a limit at all. 

It is asking for views on introducing a height limit of four metres, and a size limit of no more than 50% of the existing buildings on site. 

“The simple reforms we made during the pandemic to help hospitality businesses, markets and historic visitor attractions make use of outdoor spaces more easily, made a massive impact. They helped thousands of businesses and attraction to prosper, made out town centres livelier and have been enjoyed by millions of us,” secretary of state for housing Robert Jenrick said. 

“As part of our vision to transform high streets into thriving places to work, visit and live, we intend to make as many of these measures permanent fixtures of British life as possible.”

Welcome boost

The move was greeted favourably by trade association UKHospitality (UKH). 

“The proposal to make outdoor measures permanent is a welcome boost for the hospitality sector, its customers and local communities. It has provided a vital lifeline to venues all over the country during an extraordinarily difficult period; and allowing operators to provide extra outside seating has been a key driver of survival and recovery since re-opening,” said UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls.

 “Our pubs, bars restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities all face huge hurdles going into the autumn and winter. The move by some councils to restrict outdoor seating and return traffic to these areas is a significant blow to our city centres and threatens a huge number of businesses and jobs. In order to rebuild, the hospitality industry and government, whether it be national or local, have to work together."

Related topics: Property law

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