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Outdoor marquees allowed permanently

Fish and chip shops no longer need planning permission to put up marquees on their land, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced.

The changes to permitted development rights, first introduced last year as a temporary measure to boost high streets and small businesses during national restrictions, are being made permanent following a public consultation.

The move, which applies to moveable structures, is designed to help hospitality business better make use of their outside space all year round

Councils will also be able to hold street markets as required without the need for a planning application in a bid to attract more people to high streets and town centres and boosting local businesses.

Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said the announcement was a “positive, sensible deregulatory measure”. He added: “It permanently removes barriers for small businesses to do things that we all love in our local areas, and so small firms will be pleased to see this.

"As we look to keep going through the Omicron wave, this will be something that supports the Spring economic recovery, giving a boost to firms on the high street, in retail, in pubs and restaurants, in markets, in small-scale events and in the weddings industry that have all been affected so deeply by Covid.”

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “Marquees and other structures provided a lifeline for some businesses during the pandemic, evidencing the value of covered outdoor spaces to hospitality venues.

“Today’s announcement is a really positive move to rid businesses of an administrative burden and encouraging better use of outdoor space – for many venues it will expedite future recovery and growth.”

Hospitality businesses operating in listed buildings will be able to install a gazebo for 120 days in a 12-month period. This will provide additional flexibility while minimising the impacts to heritage sites.

These measures are separate to changes to pavement licenses introduced last year. Pavement licenses allow hospitality businesses to place furniture, such as tables and chairs, on the pavement outside their premises.

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