THE Scottish Government has extended measures governing temporary structures in the hospitality sector.
In a letter to local authorities housing and planning minister Kevin Stewart references special measures introduced last year to the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004, which extend the period of time a business can erect a temporary structure – for instance, in a pub carpark or beer garden – before being required to apply for a building warrant. Normally, temporary structures can only remain in place for 28 consecutive days without a warrant.
The measures, introduced last summer and extended in October, have now been extended again to 30th September.
In the letter, which can be viewed here, Stewart encouraged local authority building standards teams to “work with businesses to allow the number of days to be extended before seeking a building warrant”.
“I appreciate that enforcement is a discretionary activity carried out by local authorities,” Stewart wrote.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I do not expect the limitation on the number of days to be enforced against reasonable temporary outdoor buildings should a longer period be appropriate and helpful to businesses.
“I would encourage you to advise owners of such premises to engage competent advisors and contractors, and undertake appropriate risk assessments for all temporary structures.
“It is anticipated that most business premises may wish to maintain outdoor covered spaces to comply with physical distancing measures for a longer period.”
The letter also reminds authorities that outdoor areas must be licensed if alcohol is to be consumed in them and refers them to earlier guidance on the granting of occasional licences during the pandemic.