We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Planning rules to allow pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways

As part of the measures the government is introducing to help the hospitality industry during the coronavirus outbreak, the Communities Secretary has confirmed that planning regulations will temporarily be relaxed to allow all pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways of hot food and drinks to serve people staying at home.

Currently, a planning application for change of use class is required to convert pubs and restaurants to hot food takeaways. Under the emergency measures, the government will allow a temporary change of use without an application. This time limited permitted development right will last for 12 months.

The government will introduce the measures as soon as possible through secondary legislation. 

Operators are reminded however that the sale of hot food and hot drink between 11pm and 5am will still require authorisation for late night refreshment under licensing law. 

Furthermore, the measures only relate to takeaways of hot food and non-alcoholic drinks. Premises licence holders should check their licence conditions and ensure that they are permitted to sell off sales of alcohol before offering takeaways or deliveries of alcohol. 

Further details can be obtained from the GOV.UK website.

Pavement café permits

In order to support the local business community through the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis, we will not be pursuing any outstanding debt until at least May. Once a decision has been made to seek outstanding payments, permit holders will be notified and offered payment plans spread over three months.

Read the full press release.

We are also supporting businesses as they try to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 by offering free short term consents/temporary licensed lease agreements for the use of council land.

Apply for temporary use of council land

Taxi and private hire vehicle compliance tests

The Department for Transport has now released guidance in relation to vehicle MOT’s.

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However if the registered testing station is still able to conduct taxi and private hire vehicle compliance tests, then the advice from government is that these should continue to take place if the testing station is able to continue following the health advice regarding Covid-19.

Vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition for the exemption to be valid. Therefore it is just as important now as it has always been, that drivers ensure that the vehicle they are using is fully compliant with the law and that any identifiable defects such as blown bulbs, defective tyres etc. are repaired. If you are not able to have the vehicle repaired so that it is in a roadworthy condition, it must be withdrawn from service.

New licensed driver applications

Please be aware that due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, there will be a delay if you make, or, have made an application.

We are unable to carry out the Taxi Knowledge Test at present and this situation will be reviewed in June.

Where possible please avoid/delay making an application as you will be charged for a refund if you do not wish to proceed with your application.