The Government is keen to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus and the forced closure of all pubs and restaurants.  It has introduced a new permitted development right which will enable pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways until 23rd March 2021.  Operators would usually require planning permission to make the change to a takeaway but this change (which only applies to England) means that no permission is necessary.  Instead businesses are required to inform the local planning authority if the premises is being used for takeaway during this period and they will then operate within a new Class DA.

What can you serve as a takeaway?

 You are able to serve hot or cold food that is either delivered or collected by customers for consumption off the premises.

What about social distancing?

 When operating a takeaway service you must ensure that there is a distance of 2 metres between staff and customers.  You must ensure you only let small numbers of customers in to the premises and that you operate a queue system outside.  Customers must not consume food or drink on the premises or whilst waiting for their order to be ready.

Can you serve alcohol?

 You can sell alcohol only if your licence permits off sales.  In addition if you are serving hot food or hot drink between 11pm and 5am your licence must permit the sale of late night refreshment, You can continue to submit applications to amend your premises licence or apply for Temporary Event Notices to the relevant Licensing Authority as they all remain open and are processing applications during the lock down.

Practical Tips

 Before starting a takeaway offering you should check:

  • your lease for any use restrictions and talk to your landlord. Any consent that is needed for change of use should be obtained in writing.  You should consider whether this is to be a temporary or permanent variation.
  • Your premises licence if you intend to sell alcohol or serve hot food or drink after 11pm.

For more information contact Lisa Gilligan

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.