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Proposed shake-up to relax rules on EV charge points and outdoor hospitality

EV charging points will be easier to construct under the proposals (Doug Peters/PA)
EV charging points will be easier to construct under the proposals (Doug Peters/PA)

Rules for setting up outdoor restaurant seating and electric vehicle (EV) charging points will be relaxed under a proposed shake-up of the planning system.

The Scottish Government is opening a consultation on changing “permitted development rights”, which would streamline the process for certain types of planning application.

Ministers say this would save applicants time and money and provide a boost for the hospitality industry.

As well as outdoor restaurant seating and EV infrastructure, the changes would affect “change of use” applications for premises in town centres.

They would also allow small buildings to be converted into workspaces more easily.

Coronavirus – Mon Apr 19, 2021
The changes are designed to help the hospitality industry (Luciana Guerra/PA)

Planning minister Tom Arthur said: “The pandemic has highlighted that use of outdoor spaces can help bolster our hospitality industry and make city, town and local centres feel more welcoming and vibrant.

“I encourage local businesses and communities to submit their views on these proposals to relax planning requirements.

“Extending permitted development rights to make changes in use easier will help to deliver our entrepreneurship ambitions by creating enterprising communities, as set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

“Proposals to support the extension of the charging network reflect the significant growth in electric vehicle ownership forecasted for the coming years and the vital role of electric vehicle owners in helping Scotland reach net-zero by 2045.”

UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said: “Over the course of the pandemic hospitality businesses made great use of outdoor space, allowing them to trade whilst keeping customers and workers safe.

“Outdoor seating is extremely popular with guests and these often imaginative and creative spaces continue to be used extensively.

“UKHospitality Scotland is pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to our calls and is putting forward plans to relax planning requirements.

“This will save businesses time and money, whilst adding to the vibrancy of our towns and cities.

“This move will also help to boost local economies and create jobs.”

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