Pubs in Uproar Over Planning for Marquees & Temporary Shelters

Pubs across the country are fearing that local councils will sting them for outdoor planning permission in the build up to the end of lockdown in April.

From April 12 pubs and outlets can offer a takeaway menu and customers can sit outside but some places have been asked to pay for planning permission to put up marquees and temporary shelters.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick urged councils to cut the red tape to help the struggling pubs industry, which supports 900,000 jobs. He told The Mail on Sunday: We’re all looking forward to seeing pubs, cafes and restaurants open again. I’m determined we don’t let red tape get in the way of a great British summer.”

Mel Green, manager of the Black Bull pub in Otley, North Yorkshire is afraid she will have to stay shut until May following a bill for £234. This was for permission for a temporary shelter in her beer garden although the structure consists of just plastic sheeting over the top of old beer barrels. Leeds City Council officials declared permission was needed because The Black Bull is situated in a conservation area.

“It’s just another thing on the list of things to deal with,” Mel told The Mail on Sunday: “Surely you can’t get more in keeping with the conservation of an old pub than beer barrels? I wouldn’t know where to start with planning permission, I’m a publican.”

Georgette Way, landlady of the Cheltenham Motor Club real ale bar, revealed she faces a £600 bill to put up a wooden pagoda covering four tables in her car park. At the same time, pubs and restaurants in Central London are receiving £100 bills following a Westminster Council decision to force businesses to re-apply for pavement licences.

Greg Mulholland, of the Campaign for Pubs, said: “Landlords are tearing their hair out.

“They can’t understand why they are being forced to fill out forms and jump through these ridiculous hoops at a time when they are facing oblivion.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, called for a suspension of red tape. “We urge councils to have a bit of common sense and take a pragmatic view to relax the rules,” she said.  “We need to get the economy moving and we can’t afford to let needless red tape get in the way.”

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