Massive boost for April 12 boozing as red tape axed for pubs


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

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.

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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