The Scottish Government have launched a consultation on permitted development rights in relation to planning law. Amongst other things they are seeking views on permitted development rights for pavement seating adjacent to hospitality premises.
Pre-pandemic, licensed premises generally required planning permission for outdoor seating, especially on the pavement areas although the approach did vary across the country. Since Covid19 however, on the recommendation of the Chief Planning Officer, no enforcement or limited enforcement has been taken against those utilising these temporary outdoor seating spaces. This approach is due to come to an end in September 2022.
We would advise all our clients, and those in the hospitality sector who are looking to make outside seating permanent to engage with this consultation. Positive responses could see the planning requirement scrapped permanently for areas within the scope of the exemption. The climate in Scotland may not always lend itself to alfresco entertaining but the pandemic has shown that there is an appetite for outsides spaces even if blankets and umbrellas have to be provided.