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GPDO relaxations announced to help high street, hospitality, and tourism sectors in Wales

Words: Roger Milne
Outdoor eating / iStock-1179420336

In a bid to help the high street, hospitality and tourism sectors recover from Covid-19, chief planner Neil Hemington has written to all planning authorities temporarily relaxing planning control for specified development through amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

This change to the GPDO will make it easier for businesses like pubs and restaurants to trade outdoors and will allow the flexible use of town centre units.

It includes easing restrictions on erecting and leaving up marquees and other temporary structures, putting street furniture outside businesses and changing the use of a unit. This latest round of relaxations will take effect from 30 April 2021 and will remain in force until 3 January 2022.

Hemington wrote: “As was evidenced following the end of lockdown in spring 2020, once restrictions upon the movement of people are relaxed and businesses begin to reopen, there is a demonstrable need for measures to be put in place to create safe environments, both on private property and within the public realm.

“Some of these actions constitute development under section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 but where the adverse planning impacts are not significant, we do not want the planning system to act as a barrier to recovery.”

He added: "The government will be monitoring the impact of these amendments with a view to making broader, permanent amendments to the GPDO next year.”

More information can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Image credit | iStock