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What is the new Permitted Development Right for restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments?

A new Permitted Development Right has been introduced providing restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments with expanded food provision to temporarily provide takeaway food. The new right came into force on 24 March 2020 and expires on 23 March 2021. The right is subject to three conditions:

  • The developer must notify the local planning authority if the building and any land within its curtilage is being used, or will be used, for the provision of takeaway food at any time during the relevant period
  • Change of use to the provision of takeaway food under the Right, does not affect the use class which the building and any land within its curtilage had before the change of use
  • If the developer changes use to the provision of takeaway food under the Right, the use of the building and any land within its curtilage reverts to its previous lawful use when the Right expires or, if earlier, when the developer ceases to provide takeaway food.

Alcohol will still be subject to the same licensing requirements. At this stage, it is not clear how the Right will interact with any current planning conditions placed on an establishment.  Enforcement however remains discretionary. A link to Statutory Instrument 2020 No.330 is below.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/330/made

Related FAQs

When will these temporary Right To Work measures end?

The Home Office has not stated when it will end these temporary measures, albeit it has stated that it will provide a warning. Where employers have carried out checks using the temporary measures, the Home Office has confirmed that it will require employers to carry out retrospective checks on any of the following:

  • Employees who started working for you when the temporary measures were in place
  • Employees who required a follow up check during the temporary measures (for example because their previous leave was coming to an end).

It is not explicit from the guidance but these retrospective checks must require you to have in your possession the physical ID in its original form. When carrying out the retrospective check, employers must record this using the following wording “the individual’s contract commenced on [insert date]. The prescribed right to work check was undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19.”

These further checks must be made within eight weeks of the temporary measures ending, and employers must keep records of both checks undertaken. Where the employer discovers that the employee does not have the right to work during the retrospective check they should stop employing them.

Due to the lockdown and government guidelines, my partner and I have moved in to the house I own. Is there anything I need to be worried about?

Where a couple is not married, they have limited rights in relation to each other’s assets and these mainly relate to rights over property assets. There is complex Trust law which governs whether or not your partner could claim an interest in your property and it generally relates to where someone has invested in renovations on the property or promises have been made. If this is something you are concerned about, you and your partner could enter in to a Cohabitation Agreement. These Agreements can set out various matters, including who will pay the bills and where each of you would live if you separated. Most importantly, they can record your intentions about who owns the property and exclude any rights your partner would have against your property.

How do you manage employees who aren't furloughed and are unhappy that they still have to work?

Although there is no formal selection process that must be followed in order to furlough staff, the basis for selecting who will be furloughed should be explained to all relevant staff. Basing this on work levels, required skills or whether work can in fact be carried out efficiently from home will help this process. Staff can be invited to volunteer to be furloughed or re-furloughed. Any requests can be considered on a case by case basis. It may be that a particular skill set is required which may result in an employee’s request being refused.

What was the eligibility criteria for the Government’s self-employment income support scheme?

You will be eligible if you are a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have trading profits of up to £50,000
  • earn the majority of your income from self-employment
  • have submitted a Tax Return for 2019
  • have traded in the tax year 2019/20
  • are trading when you apply for a grant, or would be except for Covid-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020/2021
  • have lost trading/partnership profits due to Covid-19

 

I’m a social housing provider. What do I do if I know my tenants are flouting the social distancing guidelines?

If a tenant continues to refuse to take heed of the government’s social-distancing guidelines, for example by inviting large groups of people who do not reside there to their property, it can constitute a nuisance. One housing association successfully applied for an injunction. The injunction ordered by the Court stipulated that no persons, other than the children of the tenant, are to attend the property until the current social-distancing restrictions are lifted by the government.

A representative of the housing association highlighted the need for the current guidelines to be followed and the need for housing providers to ensure that all residents living in their communities are kept safe during this time of ‘unprecedented risk’.

This case demonstrates that flouting of the current restrictions is likely to be considered anti-social in the eyes of the courts – a point which all housing providers should bear in mind during this period. Further, it highlights the availability of an alternative remedy to the issuing of possession proceedings (in light of the government’s moratorium on evictions) to deal with anti-social behaviour during the next three months, Covid-19 related or not.