COVID-19: Permitted development to go

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Pubs and restaurants are now able to operate as hot food takeaways under changes to permitted development rules brought into force on 24 March 2020.

The Town and Country Planning Act (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 follows a series of announcements by the Government to support businesses forced to close amid the current so-called “lockdown”.

Previously, planning permission was required for businesses operating as restaurants under Use Class A3 (which permits the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises only) and pubs under Use Class A4 (pubs, wine bars and other drinking establishments) to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway under Use Class A5 (which permits the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises). Under this new secondary legislation, change of use is permitted without having to obtain full planning permission.

The new permitted development rights are time limited, allowing for a temporary change of use for a period of up to 12 months. The rules do not apply to the sale of alcoholic drinks, which will be subject to existing licencing laws.  Businesses are required to tell the local planning authority when the new use begins and ends.

Local planning authorities should act now to put in place monitoring of change of use and prepare for a potentially high volume of notifications.

Please get in touch to talk to us about, and receive advise in respect of, the effect that new measures will have on planning authorities and businesses.

This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Law and guidance relating to the COVID19 pandemic is continually being updated and the law may have changed since this page was first publishedIf you would like further advice and assistance in relation to any issues raised, please contact us today by telephone or email

Posted in Anna Sidebottom, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Emily Knowles, Latest news and blog.