Temporary structure guidance

In most circumstances, new buildings on private land and in Cheltenham’s award winning parks and gardens (where businesses already operate from these spaces) need planning permission. Covid-19 has presented a wide range of challenges to the safe and ongoing operation of many business and organisations in our town. One issue that has become clear is the need, in some instances, for more physical space to accommodate social distancing and safe operations. For some, temporary structures/buildings (for example portable cabins, portable buildings, portable welfare blocks, covered areas) may provide a solution to this issue on a temporary basis.

Given the current and ongoing COVID-19 circumstances, Cheltenham Borough Council will now allow temporary structures/buildings to be placed on land without planning permission until 1 January 2022 in certain circumstances to ensure the successful running of existing businesses and organisations in the town, whilst adhering to the governments COVID-19 guidance. This is a proactive approach to enforcement of planning controls and not a planning permission. This will not apply to residential properties.

Recent amendments to the Permitted Development Rights have been published to allow moveable structures within the curtilage of certain premises without needing to seek planning permission until 1 January 2022.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2021 inserts Class BB (moveable structures for specified uses);

Permitted development

BB. Until the end of 1 January 2022, the provision of any moveable structure within the curtilage, and for the purposes, of:

  1. a building used for a purpose within
    • article 3(6)(p) or (q) (drinking establishments etc.) of the Use Classes Order; or
    • Class E(b) (sale of food and drink etc.) of Schedule 2 to that Order(a); or
  2. a historic visitor attraction

Development not permitted

BB.1. Development is not permitted by Class BB:

  1. within the curtilage of a scheduled monument; or
  2. if the use of the moveable structure is for the display of an advertisement.

Interpretation of Class BB

BB.2. For the purposes of Class BB, “historic visitor attraction” means a listed building accessible by members of the public (whether or not for an entry fee) for the purposes of promoting their enjoyment, and advancing their knowledge, of the building.

View the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Order 2021.

If your structure falls within the above permitted development change, we will still consider your structure as part of this initiative.

To take advantage of this initiative, businesses and organisations will need to make a request to the council, and council officers will undertake a brief assessment of the request. This guidance document provides you with all the information you need, including a list of the information you need to provide to us to enable an assessment of your idea for a temporary structure.

Structures on the highway/public realm are subject to different guidance being developed by our licencing team.