New takeaway businesses could be caught out by changes to planning laws, top lawyer warns

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Keith McKinney Planning, Environmental, Energy and Regulatory Partner

Keith McKinney
Planning, Environmental, Energy & Regulatory Partner at Aaron & Partners Solicitors.

Keith McKinney, a Partner at law  firm Aaron & Partners, explains how many small businesses that have chosen to operate a take-out service may be unaware of the conditions of the government’s new permitted development rights.

A top solicitor from law firm Aaron & Partners is urging business owners to take note of the conditions the government has imposed on businesses that have decided to launch takeaway  services.

The ‘Class DA’ new permitted development right, which came into force on March 24, 2020, was brought in as a lifeline for businesses selling drink for consumption on the premises who were forced to close by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020, to protect public health.

Keith McKinney, a Partner in the firm’s Planning, Environmental, Energy and Regulatory team explains that this is in effect a relaxing of the planning laws, allowing such businesses – who were forced to close due to coronavirus – to operate temporarily as takeaways, without having to obtain consent from their local planning authority.

Keith highlights that businesses taking advantage of this new right, or considering doing so, should be aware that it is subject to a number of conditions:

  1. a) the relevant planning authority must be notified of the intention to provide a takeaway service;
  2. b) the temporary change of use does not affect the existing use of the property; and
  3. the business must revert to its previous lawful use when it stops providing a takeaway service, and by no later than 23 March 2021.

Keith 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.”


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