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Government regulations 'could boost catering equipment sales'

13 | 05 | 13

Relaxed planning regulations could provide new opportunities for commercial catering equipment suppliers as more restaurants open. 

Changes announced by communities secretary Eric Pickles on May 9th will make it easier for restaurants and cafes to start up, as they will not need the extra planning permission that is normally required. 

The revised rules will allow businesses to open a new venue in an existing building, without having to go through the bureaucratic process associated with seeking a 'change of use' for the property. 

Mr Pickles said the changes are aimed at helping companies start up and expand, which will have a beneficial impact on the UK's high streets. 

He commented: "People looking for premises to test new business ideas and other pop up ventures will find it easier to identify sites and open quickly. New retail ventures, financial and professional services, restaurants, cafes and business will be able to open for up to two years in buildings designated as A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 or D2 classes."

These changes cover properties that are classed as shops, financial services buildings, restaurants, pubs, hot food takeaways, business, non-residential institutions and leisure and assembly properties.

Mr Pickles added that the new measures will also implement recommendations from a review by retail marketing expert Mary Portas, which focused on reducing the amount of 'change of use' red tape. 

However, the proposals have met with a mixed reaction, Catering Insight reports. While some industry experts agree they will encourage further investment, critics have suggested that restaurant companies will find it hard to afford high street rents.

It has also been suggested that a lack of capital is the biggest barrier to new restaurant openings, rather than town centre planning laws.

Writing in an official government statement, Mr Pickles said the coalition believes a swift and responsive planning system is vital for delivering sustainable development. 

He added: "We want to promote the use of brownfield land to assist regeneration and get empty and under-used buildings back into productive use."ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801584636-ADNFCR

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