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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus: welcome break in planning rules for pubs and restaurants - Chris Marsh from Evans Jones

By Chris Marsh, Senior Planner at Evans Jones   

Extraordinary times have called for extraordinary measures to be put in place by individuals, businesses and the government.

No industry has been, or will be, harder hit than hospitality. If we have to keep social distancing and are advised not to go to pubs or restaurants, how are our favourite establishments going to survive?

Help has been at hand to respond to the enterprising efforts of those businesses who have decided to diversify - and who would have otherwise been stopped from doing so by regulations.

Chris Marsh, Senior Planner at Cheltenham-based property and planning experts Evans Jones, summarises yesterday's announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The announcement follows official Government advice issued on Monday of this week, recommending that individuals avoid 'pubs, clubs and theatres' wherever possible, while not actually directing the closure of those facilities.

Planning permission would otherwise be required for any change of use to a takeaway, so the relaxing of controls allows businesses to continue trading and provide vital support for isolated and vulnerable people during the current crisis.

Many pubs and restaurants have already switched to providing such a service, and the relaxed rules will give a degree of certainty to businesses and communities, as well as local authorities responsible for enforcement of planning controls.

Together with willing volunteers able to offer doorstep delivery of food and essentials to isolated and vulnerable people locally, the flexibility to offer takeaway on a temporary basis will enable pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue serving a crucial social function in communities.

It will also allow them to provide a vital income stream at a time of considerable uncertainty.

The full Government press release can be found here 

For more information about Evans Jones visit www.evansjones.co.uk 

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