Gov to extend pavement licences in boost to High Streets

The government is extending pavement licenses for a further 12 months as part of efforts to help High Streets recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced he intends to extend the licences for hospitality businesses once lockdown restrictions are lifted, subject to parliamentary approval.

Details of the announcement were included in a letter sent by the Communities Secretary to councils urging them to do ‘everything possible’ to get ready for the reopening of the country’s High streets.

Non-essential retail is set to reopen from 12 April according to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Extending provisions around pavement licences – which will be subject to parliamentary approval - will make it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve people outside, the government said.

The extension supports a series of measures introduced last year by the government to help hospitality businesses recover, which will remain in place as restrictions start to ease. These include:

Relaxation of planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways.

Greater flexibility for land to be used for temporary events, such as markets and motorsports.

Planning freedoms to allow outdoor markets, marquees, pop-up car-boot sales or summer fairs without the need of a planning application.

Commenting on the move, Jenrick said: “We’re all looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again as we start to gear up for what should be a great British summer.

“Therefore I’m delighted to announce an extension on temporary provisions for pavement licences for a further 12 months. This will give further certainty to businesses as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“As lockdown restrictions ease in the coming months I’m also keen to highlight the range of measures we’ve put in place to help support the safe reopening of hospitality businesses and our High Streets.

“It’s vital we work together to do everything we can to help these businesses prosper again. That is why I’ve written to councils calling on their support to use these measures in a pragmatic way to help support the high street, businesses and jobs, once restrictions allow them to do so.”

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