As life starts to get back to normal after the pandemic, it’s time for businesses to plan and adapt for the future. In September, the temporary relaxations, which many businesses have benefited from, will come to an end.
In April 2020, the Scottish Government introduced new legislation to make it easier for businesses to adapt their operations during the pandemic and periods of lockdown. This allowed businesses greater flexibility to make physical changes to their premises, type of services offered and hours of operation, without the need for planning permission.
Pam Ewen, Head of Planning at Fife Council, said:
“Many businesses have seen the benefits of COVID-19 relaxations over the last 18 months, whether through the introduction of outdoor seating areas, changes to the use of their buildings, extended hours of operation, or the launch of new services. Some will see these as a short-term reaction to COVID restrictions, whilst for many, it will be part of their future plans to continue with some, or all of these changes. However, come September, local businesses will need to revert to their original form.”
The temporary relaxations provided through the Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts will come to end on 30th September 2022. So, businesses that have adapted premises, amended trading hours, or changed services under the provisions of the legislation, should revert to their original form or seek planning permission.
“To ensure businesses don’t fall foul of the change in legislation, we are urging them to apply for planning permission now and not wait until September. It can take up to two months to secure.”
Planning applications can be submitted here and more information about the planning process and how to make applications, are available on Fife Council’s website.