UKHospitality has today called on the Government to adopt an approach to planning that supports and encourages the growth and stability of hospitality venues.

In its submission to the National (England) Planning Policy consultation, UKHospitality has made a series of recommendations aimed at boosting hospitality businesses, including:

  • Full support for the inclusion of the agent of change principle in the English planning regime, which will safeguard live music venues and nightclubs in particular, and an extension to all other planning jurisdictions in the UK;
  • Any future planning policy should include a focus area on supporting tourism, building on the (now withdrawn) Good Practice Guide on Planning for Tourism developed by DCLG and the industry;
  • Increased speed and flexibility in the planning process itself, to allow existing businesses to evolve and expand their sites.

UKHospitality has also welcomed the inclusion of business growth and productivity in the planning framework and support for both rural and town centre/high street businesses in the planning system

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Nightclubs, bars, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector have an opportunity to stimulate growth around the UK and revitalise town and city centres. Too often, however, we see planning restrictions in place that prevent businesses from achieving their true potential and local areas miss out and suffer as a result.

“We have taken this opportunity to highlight the potential of the sector to the Government and shown exactly what can be done to free businesses from legislative restrictions to the benefit of communities.

“Chief among these is the UK-wide introduction of the agent of change principal. The Mayor of London has already acknowledged the benefits presented by the scheme and it is time the Government introduced it, along with other similar positive action, on a national scale.”