Hospitality businesses struck by the coronavirus crisis will be permitted to provide a takeaway service for the next 12 months as they attempt to weather the storm and Malcolm Scott Consultants is advising garden centres to take advantage of the opportunity.

The Government’s Chief Planner, Steve Quartermain, has issued guidance to local planning authority chiefs confirming that pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to provide a takeaway service until the 24th March 2021.

He also stressed the need for councils to “prioritise decision making to ensure that the planning system continues to function especially where this will support the local economy” at this critical time.

Closeup shot of a man making a home delivery

Malcolm Scott Consultants’ Director Chris Primett said: “It is too early to say whether this statement will mean that more planning applications will be approved in the coming months, but provided that there is no clear harm with such an application, such as ecology or flood risk concerns, then our view is that councils will be more likely to approve garden centre developments that create jobs and enable investment back into the community.

“Garden centres have been hit hard by recent developments and have been forced to close their cafes and restaurants, and in the majority of cases, their retail operations altogether. Any opportunity that helps them to regenerate their business at this time should be seized upon.,” he added.

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