Extension of retail opening hours
Rules of the retail opening hours extension
The relaxation of planning rules:
- is temporary until 31 January 2021
- applies only to retail shops
- applies only to Monday to Saturday trading hours
All businesses must meet COVID-secure standards set by the Government regardless of their hours of operation.
How to request extended opening hours
Retail businesses which have planning conditions that restrict their hours of operation and intend to operate outside these hours should contact email@example.com to confirm their proposed temporary hours.
Government guidance makes clear that, as a matter of urgency, local planning authorities should take a positive approach to their engagement with retailers to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to the temporary extension of retail opening times. We will consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
The Government recognises that longer retail opening hours could have a temporary impact on local residents. It states that this must be balanced with making sure there is a safe retail environment during the busy Christmas period. Requests for longer operating hours will be considered in light of this statement from the Government.
We will respond to requests in five working days. We will post the response online on the Planning Portal.
Where a retail business operates outside of their conditioned hours following the government announcement, the government states that the local planning authority should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in the unnecessary restriction of retail hours during this period. Planning enforcement is a discretionary activity. During this temporary period, officers will act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control.