We posted last week on the Government's proposal to relax planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to temporarily change use to provide takeaway food.

New secondary legislation has taken immediate effect, amending the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (GDPO) to introduce a new temporary Use Class DA.

Use Class DA applies to A3 (restaurants and cafes), A4 (drinking establishments), mixed uses within A3 and A4 and drinking establishments with expanded food provision and allows those with such businesses to temporarily change use to the provision of takeaway food.

The relevant period to which this right applies began at 10.00 a.m. on 24th March 2020 and will end on 23rd March 2021.

Applicable businesses that wish to benefit from this temporary right, need only notify the local planning authority if their property is being used, or will be used, for the provision of takeaway food at any time during the relevant period.

It is worth noting that a change of use to Class DA during the relevant period does not affect the lawful use class, which the property operated within before the change of use and that the property will revert to its previous lawful use at the end of the relevant period or, if earlier, when the business ceases to provide takeaway food under Class DA.

The current Government guidance on business closures advises that all restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments must now close.  However, takeaway and delivery facilities should remain open and operational. This means people can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services, including delivery drivers.

Using Class DA may provide a useful way for currently closed businesses, to adapt their service provision, to help provide essential support to communities, while movement is severely restricted.