Planning laws loosened as businesses adapt to pandemic

Restaurant owners will not need to get planning permission to turn their businesses into takeaways.

Planning laws loosened as businesses adapt to pandemic

Restaurant owners will not need to get planning permission to turn their businesses into takeaways.

Planning rules are being loosened to speed the response to the coronavirus pandemic - and help businesses adapt.

Any new hospitals, isolation units, step-down care centres or other infrastructure needed to fight the pandemic will now bypass the planning process.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has announced the move after consulting with local government planners in recent days.

During the emergency period, restaurant owners will not need to get planning permission to switch to a takeaway.

Businesses like supermarkets that have their opening hours limited by conditions to their planning permission will be allowed open longer too.

Local councils said keeping food and other essential supplies moving has to come first - and they "don't envisage" taking enforcement action over technical breaches during the emergency.

Meanwhile, new financial supports for businesses will bring some much-needed confidence to the sector, according to the Small Firms Association.

Last night, the government upgraded payments to workers who've lost their job due to Covid-19 to €350.

It also committed to temporarily pay 70% of workers salaries up to €410 a week.

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