Scottish Government to bolster outdoor dining by streamlining planning processes

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish Government to bolster outdoor dining by streamlining planning processes

Related tags: Scotland, Legislation, Government, Al fresco

Outdoor restaurant seating could be permitted without a planning application in Scotland under new proposals designed to support the hospitality industry.

The Scottish Government is opening a consultation on changing 'permitted development rights', which would streamline the process for certain types of application.

Planning Minister Tom Arthur said: “The pandemic has highlighted that use of outdoor spaces can help bolster our hospitality industry and make city, town and local centres feel more welcoming and vibrant. I encourage local businesses and communities to submit their views on these proposals to relax planning requirements.”

It comes after the Westminster Government announced in this week's Queen's Speech that it will make pavement licences permanent​, giving hospitality businesses in England the opportunity to offer al fresco drinking and dining all year round.

UKHospitality Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government's consultation.

Executive director Leon Thompson said: “Over the course of the pandemic hospitality businesses made great use of outdoor space, allowing them to trade whilst keeping customers and workers safe. Outdoor seating is extremely popular with guests and these often imaginative and creative spaces continue to be used extensively.

“UKHospitality Scotland is pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to our calls and is putting forward plans to relax planning requirements. This will save businesses time and money, whilst adding to the vibrancy of our towns and cities. This move will also help to boost local economies and create jobs.”

Other consultation proposals include relaxing the need to seek planning permission for electric vehicle charging infrastructure in car parks or at filling stations; allowing a wider variety of changes of use for premises in city, town and local centres to promote more rapid adaption to changing circumstances; and permitting conversion of buildings to small workspaces to support local innovation and entrepreneurship as part of the national strategy to transform the economy.

The consultation was published yesterday​ ​(11 May) and will run for 12 weeks.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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