The recent change to permitted development rights introduced by the Government during the current Coronavirus pandemic, allowing cafes, restaurants and pubs to operate as takeaways for a temporary period, indicates that the Government recognises the importance of takeaways in providing food to communities, particularly key workers and shift workers.
Earlier this week, Sanderson Weatherall’s Planning Department, acting on behalf of Papa John’s (GB) Ltd, obtained planning permission for a takeaway within the town centre of Wednesbury.
We initially carried out a Planning Appraisal, which identified several constraints including a designated Conservation Area and a recently adopted document which restricted the number of takeaways in town centres to no more than 7% of the total number of units.
However, a Land Use Survey of the town centre showed that if planning permission was granted it would result in there only being 4.9% of units operating as takeaways.
In the light of the Conservation Area location, we recommended a series of modifications to the unit and prepared a Heritage Impact Assessment which concluded that there would be no harm to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
After negotiating the operational hours and the requirements of a local accessibility group, the Council agreed with us that there would be no adverse impact on the amenity of the area or on nearby residential properties, the external alterations were appropriate and would not harm the street-scene, and that the proposed development was in full accordance with relevant national and local highway policies.
Credit to the local authority Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council who issued the decision in good time, despite its staff working from home and having introduced new procedures because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Our client was very pleased because there were no pre-commencement conditions attached to the planning permission meaning works can commence as soon as current Government restrictions affecting us all are removed.