The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has signed a new regulation (S.I. 92/2020) which means that from 27 March 2020 until the end of the "planning emergency" as per an order made under Section 2(3) of the Health (Preservation and Protection and Other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020, any change of use of a premises for the sale of consumption food on the premises to use for the sale of food for consumption off the premises is now "exempted development" within the meaning of the Planning Acts, and therefore does not require a separate grant of planning permission.

This allows shops, cafes and restaurants the flexibility required by the crisis and recommended by the Government, and also temporarily legitimizes the existing practice of some shops having substantial hot food sales for consumption off the premises, which might be seen as requiring "take away planning". 

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