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Gloucestershire Business News

Government calls time on red tape for outdoor drinking

Councils have been urged to get rid of red tape to help pubs and restaurants make the most of any outdoor areas when lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted next month.

Under the Government's roadmap to remove restrictions, outdoor dining and drinking will be allowed from April 12.

And Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has called on councils to help venues use outdoor space such as pavements or even car parks plus marquees in beer gardens.

He called rules to be waived until the end of September 2022 to help businesses recover.

Writing in The Sun on Sunday, he said: "I'm determined we don't let red tape get in the way of a great British summer.

"The planning changes we put in place last year have been a lifeline to many businesses and they're here to stay for the summer of 2021.

"I've told council leaders that we expect them to grant these licences very swiftly - with no need for businesses to reapply or charge another fee."

In June, Cheltenham Borough Council became one of the first local authorities to accelerate applications for temporary changes at the end of the first lockdown period.

The move meant the need for planning permission in many cases was replaced by a brief assessment by council officers.

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, backed the idea in principle.

He said: "We have seen a hospitality crisis. There's just not enough space in pubs to make them viable.

"I would be in favour of them making full use of of what space is available, but you have to consider nearby residents if things get loud and disruptive."

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