The FT is reporting that as part of the Government's attempts help the beleaguered pub industry that Robert Jenrick, housing and local government secretary, is reviewing planning rules to make it easier for pubs and bars to use outdoor areas. What exactly these 'planning rules' are is not explained. Will pubs be allowed to erect marquees, even where such structures are substantial buildings? Up to now, case law has prevented any such structures which had a permanent feel to them. Will conditions which limit noise from external premises, such as prohibitions on amplified music or which impose shorter hours of use in the evenings be rendered unenforceable? Or perhaps most exciting of all, will pubs and restaurants be permitted to put chairs and tables onto adjacent pavements - in a continental way - without the need for any additional consents?
Whilst much of this is to be applauded, the problem is that one size doesn't always fit all. Permitted development rights are inevitably generic in nature and pub owners may find themselves having to exercise some self restraint if any of these potential relaxations are likely to cause a nuisance to neighbours.
Ministers target June 22 for reopening of England’s pubs and restaurants