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.
Some examples of the key questions to ask include:
- Is there still a viable underlying business that is likely to continue beyond the current crisis?
- What does the revised short to medium cash flow look like and will the company continue to be able to pay its liabilities?
- Does the company have the support of all of its stakeholders – lenders, shareholders, customers, suppliers and banks – even though the business might be in breach of its own obligations?
- What measures could (and should) the board put in place to protect creditors, including making sure that exposure to creditors (both collectively and individually) is not increased, assets are not sold at less than value and no creditor is treated more favourably than another?
- Is there still a reasonable prospect of the business avoiding liquidation or administration?
The key question is always whether accepting the money is in the best interests of creditors as a whole bearing in mind that accepting Government support and continuing to trade might increase the company’s overall liabilities. Directors should be mindful that if the business fails, their decisions during this critical time may be scrutinised and it is therefore important that directors have up-to-date financial information and projections to form the basis of any decisions, take stock, get the right advice and document the decisions that are taken.
- Start critical care treatment with a clear plan of how the treatment will address the diagnosis and lead to agreed outcomes.
- Review critical care treatment regularly and when the patient’s clinical condition changes.
- Stop critical care treatment when it is no longer considered able to achieve the desired outcomes. Record the decision and the discussion with family, carers and the patient (if possible).
To respond to the crisis businesses might need to exchange information to a greater extent than they would usually. They might need to discuss capacity and to coordinate supply chains (both upstream and downstream). They might need to purchase or sell jointly to ensure vital supplies are maintained. In general agreements or collaboration which:
- Avoid a shortage, or ensure security, of supply
- Ensure a fair distribution of scarce products
- Continue essential services
- Provide new services such as food delivery to vulnerable consumers
Yes. You can continue to fully furlough employees until 30 September 2021 (but from between 1 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 and from 1 July 2021 you need to contribute to the cost). If on full-time furlough, employees continue not to be able to undertake any work for you. As before, they can undertake training, or volunteer or work for another employer or organisation (if contractually allowed).
Commercial partner Damien Charlton explains the basic principles of force majeure, and how they are relevant in the current extreme circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.