Regulations relaxed to allow Northamptonshire restaurants to become takeaways without planning permission
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Hundreds of Northamptonshire restaurants and bars have been forced to close after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered them to on Monday. It comes as the UK enters lockdown to try and combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Planning permission was originally required for businesses to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway, but the planning regulations have been amended in order to enable restaurants, cafés and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.
The guidance, updated this morning, states: “Food delivery and takeaway can remain operational and can be a new activity supported by a new permitted development right. This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.
“Ordering in advance is strongly encouraged to avoid waiting in, as per Public Health England guidelines.
“People must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafés or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food. Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages in this list if their license does not already permit.”
Takeaway services have been allowed to stay open by the government during the pandemic, but have been encouraged to take orders either online or by telephone, and have been told not to provide seating areas for customers to consume their food.
The change to planning law had been promised by the government last week, with Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP saying: “We are committed to doing everything we can to tackle the pandemic and support people, businesses and communities through this difficult time.
“These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country.”