One of the Covid-specific regulations introduced by the Irish government last year was that, for a specific period, change of use from the sale of food for consumption on the premises to the sale of food for consumption off the premises (whether or not it was hot food) was considered exempt development and therefore did not require an fresh application for and grant of planning permission.  It is well known that ordinarily, applications for planning permission allowing for the sale of 'hot food' for consumption off the premises (so-called 'take-away' permission) can be highly contested.

Although we are now "easing out" of the Covid restrictions, new regulations have issued from the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage extending the "relevant period" allowing the same exempted development until 31 December 2021.

The lengthy extension of these Covid measures probably reflects the Minister's hope that by then, we will be out of the pandemic and normal rules can again apply.   

The regulations are the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2021 – S.I. 208/2021.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.