High street stores and local businesses can expect a boost throughout 2022, as the government announces markets and outdoor marquees will now be permanently allowed.
High streets and local businesses are set to benefit from changes to planning rules, which will enable markets to be held more often and marquees to be put up in pub and restaurant gardens, without any need for planning permission. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced the news on 20th December 2021.
The changes to development rights were first introduced last year as a temporary measure to boost high streets and small businesses during lockdown, are now being made permanent.
Pubs, cafés, and restaurants will now be able to install gazebos on their own land without planning permission, helping them make the most of their outside space. Councils will also be able to host street markets without any need for a planning application. In turn, this will attract more people to high streets and town centres, boosting local businesses.
Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said, “The changes we introduced last year supported our town centres and high streets during national restrictions, making sure businesses could stay open and helping to instil a sense of community in our local areas.”
“Making these measures permanent will help business and communities to build back better from the pandemic and are just one part of our vision to transform towns and cities across England into thriving places to work, visit and live.”
Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said, “Today’s announcement is a positive, sensible deregulatory measure. It permanently removes barriers for small businesses to do things that we all love in our local areas, and so small firms will be pleased to see this.”
“As we look to keep going through the Omicron wave, this will be something that supports the Spring economic recovery, giving a boost to firms on the high street, in retail, in pubs and restaurants, in markets, in small-scale events and in the weddings industry that have all been affected so deeply by COVID.”
Kate Nicholls CEO of UKHospitality said, “Marquees and other structures provided a lifeline for some businesses during the pandemic, evidencing the value of covered outdoor spaces to hospitality venues.”
“Today’s announcement is a really positive move to rid businesses of an administrative burden and encouraging better use of outdoor space – for many venues it will expedite future recovery and growth.”
Historic visitor attractions and hospitality businesses operating in listed buildings will be able to put up a gazebo for 120 days in a 12-month period, ensuring additional flexibility, but also minimising the impacts to heritage sites.
The permitted development right enabling councils and health services to adapt their facilities is being extended for an extra year, until December 2022. The right will continue to support the response to the pandemic, including allowing pop-up vaccination centres to support the government’s booster drive.
This is just one way in which the government is trying to help small businesses and high street stores recover from the pandemic, including introducing protections for commercial tenants and the extension of the streamlined process for pavement licensing, enabling businesses to continue to provide al fresco dining.
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