Business and Planning Act 2020: impact on hospitality sector - Kuits Solicitors Manchester
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Business and Planning Act 2020: impact on hospitality sector

Business and Planning Act 2020: impact on hospitality sector

29th July 2020 - Published by Kuits licensing team

The long-awaited Business and Planning Act received Royal Assent on 22nd July 2020. 

We reported on the proposals made in the Bill here. Whilst the broad principles remain, there have been some tweaks made to the provisions during the Bill’s course through the Houses of Parliament. 

The effect of the Act is as set out below. 

Off sales alcohol licenses

  • Any premises licence which (prior to 22nd July) permits the sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises only will now automatically have permission for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises too. 
  • This applies until 23:00 daily, and will last until the end of September 2021. 
  • There is no corresponding permission for off licences – i.e. shops do not suddenly have on sales permissions too.
  • However, some conditions which restrict off sales are relaxed for all premises, as follows:
    • Conditions which prohibit off sales of alcohol in open containers/require sealed containers.
    • Conditions which restrict or prohibit deliveries. 
  • Any new permissions/relaxations will not apply at any time when the existing premises licence does not allow consumption in any outdoor areas at the premises – e.g. if there is a pre-existing condition requiring a beer garden to close to drinkers at 9pm, the relaxation will be restricted to this time also. 
  • The relaxations do not apply to any operator who has applied for a new licence and been refused off sales, applied for a variation and been refused off sales, or had their off sales permissions removed by review in the three years preceding 22nd July. 
  • These automatic permissions/relaxations can be removed by way of review brought by a responsible authority. 

Pavement licences

  • A new Pavement Licence is introduced by the Act. This permits a hospitality business to place tables/chairs/certain other removable furniture on a public highway adjacent to their premises. 
  • The granting of a Pavement Licence will confer deemed planning permission and will not be considered street trading, so a Pavement Licence is all that is required. 
  • This does not remove the possibility of applying for a Highways Act Licence as usual if any operator would prefer to do so for any reason. 
  • However, the key benefit of the Pavement Licence is that the process will take much less time than has been the case for Highways Act licences. This allows hospitality operators to get furniture outside quickly, to benefit from any good weather, from additional space and from the reduced risk of transmission externally. 
  • The consultation period is prescribed as seven days beginning with the day after the application is made, and the authority must then determine the application within seven days beginning the day after the end of the consultation period. In the absence of determination, the application is deemed granted. 
  • The fee is also less than is usual for a Highways Act Licence – at a maximum of £100. 
  • A pavement licence will last for a minimum of three months, and at most until the end of September 2021.
  • Specific requirements in respect of the application will vary from authority to authority. 

Speak to a specialist licensing lawyer

Please contact Kuits Licensing Team for advice on the specific application of the above changes to your business on 0161 838 7888. 

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