We previously reported on the Government’s intention to introduce a permitted development right to provide restaurants, cafes and pubs the opportunity to operate as hot-food takeaways as a way of continuing business during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The necessary regulations have now been made (The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020) and came into force on 24 March.

These introduced a new class of permitted development, Class DA. This permits the change of use of premises falling in use Classes A3, A4 as well as premises falling within a mixed use of A3/A4, or drinking establishments offering an expanded food provision (Class AA) to a use for the provision of takeaway food. The permitted use includes uses within Class A5 as well as any other use for the provision of hot or cold food for collection or delivery for consumption off the premises. The right is temporary and will be in force from 24 March 2020 to 23 March 2021.

The permitted development right is subject to a condition requiring that the Local Planning Authority is notified of the change of use. Following either the expiration of the temporary right, or (if earlier) the point at which a premises ceases to provide takeaway food the lawful use of the premises will revert to its previous lawful use.

Businesses planning to rely on the new Class DA should be mindful that this will not allow them to operate outside of any restrictions on their land imposed by way of planning condition (in particular conditions excluding the operation of permitted development rights), restrictions on title, leases or licences.

Whilst the making of the Regulations provides much needed certainty for a number of businesses, current events will remain of deep concern for the industry as a whole.