Great news this week, as all pubs and restaurants will be allowed to erect marquee structures without planning permission to help get things moving again as they come out of lockdown.
The Communities secretary Robert Jenrick announced the move on Friday 19th March as part of a £56 million ‘Welcome Back’ initiative designed to help towns and businesses make the most of the impending freedoms.
Ministers also last night announced an extra £100 million support for the reopening of local authority leisure centres and gyms.
In 2020, the 28-day rule which limits the use of temporary structures was suspended for pub and restaurant marquees to allow for their use throughout the summer. Elite Marquees provided a number of Marquees for pubs, bars, restaurants, gyms and NHS services throughout Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and Greater Manchester.
This year, the rule is set to be suspended from as early as April 12, when outdoor hospitality is set to resume. The suspension will continue throughout the rest of 2021.
This flexibility will also be extended to an estimated 9,000 pubs and restaurants which could not make use of it last year because they had a listed building status or other local restrictions.
Ministers hope this move will help the hospitality sector, which is not due to be able to serve customers indoors until mid May. Mr Jenrick said the suspension of normal planning rules was a ‘one-off power to support our locals’.
Additional flexibility will also be given to commercial properties such as shops, with councils asked to make a ‘presumption in favour’ of applications to set up stalls outside their premises or to operate outdoor markets. And Mr Jenrick will write to local authorities ordering them to reopen public toilets in time for the unlocking of the economy.
Under the ‘Welcome Back’ fund, grants will be made available to towns for street planting, tidying up parks and installing new outdoor seating. Funding will also be available to support local festivals and street markets and to deploy Covid measures such as installing signs and employing marshals.
Mr Jenrick said:
“As we move to the next stage on the roadmap out of lockdown, we are all looking forward to being reunited with friends and family outdoors and making a safe and happy return to our favourite shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants”
“This funding will help councils and businesses to welcome shoppers, diners and tourists back safely for a great summer”
Meanwhile, the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund will be available to help local authorities reopen facilities deemed essential to boosting the public’s health and fitness.
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