Last Wednesday at Planning Committee proposals were approved for a proposed approach to planning enforcement for temporary structures.
Since March 2020, the Scottish Government has encouraged a relaxation of planning control where doing so can help business and services to diversify and continue to operate during the pandemic. In November 2021, the Scottish Government’s Chief Planner stated its advice on enforcement relaxation will continue to the end of September 2022.
Planning Committee has agreed that a relaxed approach to planning control will continue in respect of seating structures and it is intended that this approach will remain in place until 7 October 2022. This will allow structures to operate over the spring and summer of 2022 and allow a week after the Chief Planner’s 30 September 2022 date for the end of enforcement relaxation.
Where structures are in place on the street and planning permission has been refused or not likely to be supported, the general approach to be taken is that the structures will be allowed to remain until 7 October 2022. Any structures remaining beyond that period would be removed by the Roads Authority.
Notwithstanding the above, some structures may need to be removed in advance of 7 October 2022. This may be because the street space is required for festival purposes or there is an urgent road maintenance issue which would require their removal. In these circumstances, the Roads Authority would remove the structure under section 59 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 – Control of Obstructions on the Road.
Where structures are on private land and have been refused planning permission or where an application is not likely to be supported, the planning service will issue an enforcement notice requiring removal by 7 October 2022.
If new structures come forward in the meantime, (and it is understood that there is interest from businesses for new structures in the New Town between April and September), subject to an installation not impacting on disabled persons’ parking spaces, taxi ranks or causing what the road’s authority consider an obstruction, additional structures can be put in place subject to their removal in advance of 7 October 2022
Where businesses seek advice on outdoor seating, they should be advised of the above criteria and about whether there may be a way of having outdoor seating without breaching planning control.
The report can be found here.