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Take-away Food: Small Businesses

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL1333, tabled on 22 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that small food and drink businesses can continue to operate as takeaway services; and what steps they are taking to support such businesses in their applications for pavement licences from local authorities.

Answered on

5 July 2021

Cafes, restaurants and pubs can already provide a takeaway service where this is ancillary to their main business. During the present Covid-19 restrictions, the Government has taken a number of steps to support food and drink businesses. On 24 March 2020 Government introduced a new national permitted development right allowing cafes, restaurants and drinking establishments to operate as takeaways, which would otherwise usually constitute a change of use. The Government has recently extended the right until March 2022. Once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, cafes, restaurants and pubs can continue to provide a takeaway service where this is ancillary to their main business.

In addition, last summer the Government introduced temporary pavement licence provisions in the Business and Planning Act 2020. These create a quicker and cheaper process for businesses, such as restaurants, bars and cafes, to obtain a licence to place outdoor furniture, including tables, chairs and stalls on the highway outside their premise.  In March the Secretary of State wrote to local council leaders and made a statement (HCWS829), on Planning and Hospitality to make clear that the Government expects local authorities to support hospitality businesses to safely reopen, once they are permitted to do so. The Government intends to extend the temporary pavement licence provisions for 12 months until September 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval.