Planning support for businesses reopening

We are keen to help businesses across the district ensure that they are able to safely welcome customers back to their premises, following the updated guidance that all non-essential retail businesses are permitted to open from June 15.

When can high street shops reopen?

On 25 May, the government announced the easing of lockdown measures in England, allowing non-essential retail to reopen from 15 June as long as they are COVID-19 secure.  

With some exceptions, all shops are now allowed to reopen providing certain conditions are met. It is a legal requirement that all businesses undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment. It is also important that businesses aim to maintain social distancing on their premises of at least two metres wherever possible. 

How is the council supporting the high street?

We've been allocated £159,208 from the European Regional Development Fund to create a safe shopping environment for shoppers and businesses in our high streets. For more information about the fund and its criteria, see GOV.UK - Reopening High Streets Safely Fund guidance. We've been engaging with Town and Parish and the County Council on proposals for promoting high streets and supplementing the safety measures set out by the Government.

We are working hard to ensure our high streets are safe to use while meeting the governments guidelines and options are currently being explored to help businesses reopen safely whilst maintaining social distancing is our top priority

Trading arrangements near the public highway

In order to operate safely in line with Government and Public Health advice on social distancing measures, businesses and other organisations will need to adapt their trading arrangements to ensure the safety of their workers, customers and the general public. In many instances this is likely to have an impact on the highway network and its usage, especially in pedestrianised areas and footways in busier city and town centres. It is essential that any measures that are implemented on the public highway do not compromise safety.  Hampshire County Council, as the Highway Authority have therefore have published guidance to support the safe re-opening of the retail areas or similar whilst keeping the highway network safe and free from excessive, unnecessary and dangerous obstructions, or other safety related hazards:

Can my business reopen safely?

COVID-19 secure guidelines

The Government has identified five main steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with current Health and Safety legislation.

The Government has published COVID-19 secure' guidelines to UK employers to help get businesses up and running, and operating safely.

Five steps to working safely

The five steps to working safely, which your business will need to follow in order to reopen, are:

  1. Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with HSE guidance. There are a few templates you can use, for example the HSE COVID-19 risk assessment template or Better Business for All (see below).
  2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures.
  3. Help people to work from home.
  4. Maintain social distancing where possible.
  5. Where 2m is not possible, take measures to manage transmission risk.

We've created some template posters for your business to download and use to promote the necessary safety procedures for customers. You can download these and display in your windows to show you have followed Government guidance to protect staff and members of the public and to help build customer confidence. 

Icon for pdf Safer shopping poster [64.73KB]

Icon for pdf Maintain social distancing poster [76.71KB]

Icon for pdf Keep your distance poster [76.3KB]

The government has also produced a number of posters and social media images to show your business is COVID-19 secure. You can download these and display them in your windows to help build customer confidence.

Coronavirus: use of pubs and restaurants as food takeaways

On 24 March 2020, the government relaxed planning regulations to allow for public houses and restaurants to temporarily operate as food takeaways without needing to apply for planning permission. This is in order to serve people who have to stay at home. Takeaway food must either be collected by or delivered to customers, not consumed on the premises.

Under these changes to regulations, pubs and restaurants that wish to use their premises as food takeaways must notify their Local Planning Authority in writing.

You can use the online form below to check if we are the relevant Local Planning Authority for you to notify.

You can notify us by sending an email to or in writing to:

Planning Department
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

When notifying us, include the following details:

  • Name and address of the public house or restaurant.
  • Name of contact, for example the licensee or manager.
  • Telephone number.
  • Date when the temporary use as a takeaway began.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email


Print this page