Permitted development rights granted to moveable structures and pop-up markets during Covid restrictions have been made permanent.

30 January 2022

As we ease out of the Covid legal public health restrictions, changes to planning policy brought in with the objective of boosting the economy during the past two years are being made permanent. In January, two temporary permitted development (PD) rights, which were introduced during the pandemic, were made permanent.

Moveable structures such as marquees erected on land owned by hospitality businesses no longer require a planning application subject to certain conditions. At the same time, planning permission will no longer be required for outdoor markets in most locations which are held by, or on behalf of, local authorities for an unlimited number of days.

Under the new regulations, markets may not be held on Sites of Special Scientific Interest or those designated as scheduled monuments. Furthermore, there are restrictions regarding the number, size and siting of moveable structures. There can only be one such structure; it must be no more than three metres high and no larger than 50 square metres or 50 per cent of the size of the floorplate of the building from which the hospitality business operates, whichever is the lesser; and it cannot be erected within two metres of the curtilage of a residential property. Additional restrictions apply to listed buildings. These need prior approval from the local planning authority for their siting and installation and are limited to 120 days within a 12-month period.

In the majority of cases therefore, as no planning or prior approval application is needed, neighbours’ ability to address issues such as noise and visual impact through the normal planning process has been effectively removed, thereby leaving the Environmental Health and licensing departments within the local authorities to deal with such issues.

For more information relating to this issue, please contact Anne Pawsey