MP welcomes new Business and Planning Bill

On Monday 29 June 2020, the Government will introduce new legislation to support businesses as they re-open in the wake of coronavirus.

The measures include:


Pavement licensing and outdoor seating

The Bill will temporarily provide for a new streamlined process for premises selling hot or cold food and drinks for takeaway or consumption on the premises to be able to secure a licence which lets them put dining furniture on the highway, via an application to the local council.


Alcohol licensing

The Bill will give certain premises with an existing licence allowing sale of alcohol for consumption temporary permission to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.


Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bill will disapply the ‘unfair relationships’ provisions in the Consumer Credit Act 1974 in relation to loans made to a particular group of borrowers under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme to enable the loans to quickly reach small businesses.


Certificates of temporary exemption for public service vehicles and goods vehicles

The Bill will enable HGVs and Public Service Vehicles (buses and coaches) to be temporarily exempted from roadworthiness testing on the basis of road safety risk, rather than just by blanket exemption.


Temporary reduction in duration of driving licences for goods vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles in GB and NI

The Bill will enable the issue of 1 year driving licenses for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) and Passenger Carrying Vehicles (PCV) where the need for a driver medical report has been waived, enabling NHS doctors to prioritise patients whilst managing road safety risks.


Modification of conditions relating to construction working hours

The Bill will temporarily provide for a streamlined process for obtaining a temporary variation of planning restrictions on construction site working hours, to enable developers to request extended construction site working hours. Extended hours will not be permitted for works to extensions or alterations of individual houses.


Extension of certain permissions and consents

The Bill will extend (until 1 April 2021) the period within which relevant works must be commenced under planning permissions and listed building consents that have expired or would otherwise expire between 23 March 2020 – 31 December 2020 (subject to obtaining an ‘additional environmental approval’ in the case of planning permissions which lapsed before this provision comes into force).


Procedure for certain planning proceedings

The Bill will enable planning appeals to be determined by any one or more of the existing different procedural methods, namely written representations, inquiry or hearing, speeding up appeals and helping to deal with the backlog arising from coronavirus-related disruption. This would be a permanent change.


Mayor of London’s spatial development strategy: inspection of documents

The Bill will temporarily suspend a requirement imposed on the Mayor of London to make physical copies of the spatial development strategy available for inspection by the public, if the strategy is published online.