Planning support for businesses reopening

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Reopening businesses

Full information on support for businesses and the latest updates to national restrictions can be found on GOV.UK.

The government has announced funding to councils through the Welcome Back Fund. This will help us to ensure a safe and successful reopening of our high streets.

Safe working poster templates

You can display the following posters at your business to show you are following government guidance to protect staff and members of the public. 

Pavement licences for cafes 

The Business and Planning Act 2020 has introduced a process for businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture outside for the next 12 months. This includes furniture such as tables and chairs which can support businesses in operating safely while social distancing measures remain in place.

Use of pubs and restaurants as food takeaways

Since 24 March 2020, pubs and restaurants can temporarily operate as food takeaways by notifying their local planning authority in writing. This is permitted until 23 March 2022, after which venues must revert back to their original use.

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

Planning Department
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

Include the following details when notifying us:

  • 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.

Extension to working hours on construction sites

Local planning authorities can approve requests to temporarily extend construction working hours. Working hours can run until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are compelling reasons otherwise. Find out more about the extension of hours for construction sites.

Changes to Planning Use Class Order

On 20 July 2020, the government introduced changes to the Use Classes Order in England. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes)(Amendment)(England) Order 2020 came into effect from 1 September 2020 and created a Class E, which combines commercial, business and service classes. This includes:

  • shops
  • financial services
  • restaurants and cafes
  • office
  • nurseries
  • health centres and gyms.

This entitles a mix of uses within this class without the need for planning permission. 

We have further information on our website about permitted development rights for businesses

Temporary use of land

On 1 January 2021, the government amended 'relevant period' for land to be used temporarily until 31 December 2021.

Class BA, Part 4, Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 allows for land to be used temporarily for no more than 28 days.

No more than 14 days within the 28 day period can be used for markets or for motor car or motorcycle racing.

Prevention of demolishing venues

The government introduced changes to prevent the demolition of concert halls, live music venues or theatres under permitted development.

From 3 December 2020, the proposed demolition of such venues will need to be considered as part of a planning application.

Further information

Guidance for undertaking risk assessments and answers to common questions can be found on our business support page.

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