Outdoor Seating A Vital Part Of Successful Bounce-Back For Hospitality

UKHospitality Scotland is today calling on the Scottish Government to relax planning restrictions on outdoor seating indefinitely.

As a response to the pandemic, the Scottish Government’s Chief Planner encouraged local authorities to relax planning restrictions on pavement and outdoor seating to allow cafes, restaurants and pubs to have more seating in the open air.

That relaxation is due to be reviewed in the coming weeks and Scotland’s leading hospitality body says that continental style café culture must be here to stay.

The call comes as similar planning laws in England are set to be streamlined, cutting red tape for businesses, as part of an ambitious plan to support high street recovery.

Making the call, UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said:

“Many businesses have invested in outdoor seating and the imaginative approaches demonstrated by businesses should be encouraged and supported, with planning relaxed or streamlined indefinitely. Outdoor areas also provide additional capacity for businesses that need to be given increased opportunities to trade as profitably as possible.

“Outside seating is likely to remain popular with customers even during inclement weather – particularly where areas are partially covered and offer reasonable protection against the elements.

“Relaxation of the planning restrictions showed real pragmatism and responsiveness from the Scottish Government and was applauded by businesses at the time. Let’s keep supporting our hospitality businesses as they seek to recover from 16 months of closure and restricted opening. Hospitality is central to the economic health and recovery of the economy and is already bringing vibrancy back to communities and high streets across the country.”