Outside Space: Fun times in the right place?

As the Prime Minister sets out the government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England, we are likely to see pubs, bars and restaurants serving customers outdoors from 12 April 2021.

What does the future hold for covid-compliant hospitality?

In addition to ensuring COVID-19 safeguards are in place, what else are the hospitality, tourism and leisure industries doing to prepare for enjoying outside space from April?

Some are setting up mini igloos or gazebo structures, to provide ‘bubbles’ for groups of customer while others are erecting external bars and shelters. If you are not familiar with the proposed rules for the relaxing of lockdown in relation to hospitality venues, keep updated via the Government website https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Might your hospitality business be considering something similar?

Before committing to spending cash, take a moment to consider whether there could be any restrictions that might affect your plans, in addition to the usual planning controls.  For example:-

outdoor dining igloo in restaurant garden
The outdoor dining igloos at The Barn Restaurant, Terrington St John

Freehold property: If you or your business owns your property freehold, are there any restrictions affecting the title that you might breach by building any structures outside? Take for example, a covenant not to build without the prior consent of a neighbouring landowner – you could find yourself in deep water if you erect a structure without following the necessary procedures first.

Leasehold property: If you lease your premises, will the lease permit you to make the necessary alterations and changes without the landlord’s consent, or must you obtain consent to all alterations and/or changes of use?

Have you thought about noise or licence restrictions?

Is it likely that more noise is going to be created by encouraging greater use of outdoor space?

Your neighbours might complain about increased noise, whether it is music or laughter and chat, so it is sensible to check whether your premises licence allows for this, alongside remembering the general laws of nuisance.

Check that you will be using your additional seating area(s) in accordance with current guidelines.  Are you exceeding the limit for the amount of space you have available to you?

We help landlords, tenants, individuals and business owners

Our commercial team can review your commercial agreements, title deeds or licences if you need further guidance.

Similarly, if you find yourself in a dispute with a landlord, tenant, neighbour or otherwise due to your temporary hospitality arrangements, contact our dispute resolution team for advice and representation.

Contact us for more information

The content of this post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. The content is subject to change and we accept no liability for individuals relying on the information within this article.


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