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HomePoliticsMassive boost for April 12 boozing as councils ordered not to charge landlords who put tables and chairs in the street

Massive boost for April 12 boozing as councils ordered not to charge landlords who put tables and chairs in the street

Massive boost for April 12 boozing as councils ordered not to charge landlords who put tables and chairs in the street

JOBSWORTH council chiefs have been ordered to stop persecuting pubs and restaurants who serve food and drink outdoors during the pandemic.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has ruled they must not charge landlords who put tables and chairs in the street or erect marquees in their beer gardens.

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Outdoor service for pubs and restaurants returns on April 12[/caption]

Some have been hit with bills running into hundreds of pounds for planning permission to put up a temporary shelter for the return of outdoor dining on April 12.

But Mr Jenrick has written to every council leader urging them to give owners a break after a year of enforced closures.

He has bluntly told them that planning rules must be waived unless there are exceptional circumstances.

And in a further boost for pubs, he has extended the concession for another year until the end of September 2022.

Mr Jenrick said he was determined to cut petty bureaucracy to help the struggling hospitality industry which supports 900,000 jobs.

He said tonight: “I’m determined that we don’t let red tape get in the way of a great British summer.

“The planning changes we put in place last year have been a lifeline to many businesses and they’re here to stay for the summer of 2021.

He added: “We will be extending pavement licences for a further 12 months, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to make al fresco dining a reality with outside seating, tables and street stalls to serve food and drinks.”

 

In a further move, he has given the go-ahead for local communities to hold popular outdoor events like summer fairs, car-boot sales, and markets, without the need for planning permission.

Mr Jenrick relaxed rules last year to make it less expensive to get an outdoor seating licence or offer a takeaway service. 

But some owners said they were forced to stay shut after being hit with demands for £300 to £600 to erect temporary shelters or pagodas.

Others are facing hefty bills of £100 or more to re-apply for pavement licences so they can offer alfresco dining.

‘Let’s not let red tape get in the way of a Great British Summer’

THE Government’s roadmap for easing the lockdown restrictions set out that in step two, which will be no earlier than 12 April, hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors.

Like Sun on Sunday readers, we can’t wait to see great pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants open again. Those of us in government – both nationally and locally – have a responsibility to make that as easy as possible and give them a real boost.

That’s why I’ve written to all council leaders to remind them of all the red tape we’ve cut and the freedoms we’ve created in the last year and ask them to support the safe re-opening of hospitality.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can obtain a simple and inexpensive licence to use outdoor tables and chairs. I’ve told council leaders that we expect them to grant these licences very swiftly – with no need for businesses to re-apply or charge another fee. If the council don’t get back to you, there’s a presumption it’s okay to proceed. I’m planning on extending these measures for another year.

So al fresco dining on your high street will return this Spring.

We are also extending the freedom we created to hold outdoor events – such as summer fairs or motorsports – without the need for a planning application, for car-boot sales and above all for pubs to put up a marquee or covered area for up to two months. No fees, no bureaucracy – the right for small businesspeople and entrepreneurs to get on and start trading again.

And of course we also introduced measures to support restaurants, pubs and cafes to serve takeaway food without the need for a new licence. This simple freedom, that I introduced a year ago as lockdown began has proved a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of businesses. It’s hard to imagine it wasn’t available to start with. I’m ensuring it will continue to apply until at least March 2022 and I’m keen to make it permanent.

My message is simple: let’s not let red tape get in the way of a great British summer. 

We can all raise a glass to that!

  • By Robert Jenrick, Communities Secretary

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In a letter to council chiefs, Mr Jenrick said: “The automatic right to provide takeaways and do deliveries we created at the start of the pandemic is going to continue, as will the right for pubs to have marquees and awnings without planning permission for up to two months. 

“We expect local authorities to grant licences for 12 months or more unless there are good reasons not to, such as plans for future changes in use of road space.

“Therefore, unless there are very good reasons, we would expect licences granted under these provisions to continue to apply into this summer so that businesses do not have to reapply or be charged a further application fee when they are able to re-open to serve customers outdoors.”

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