We are getting closer to the much-anticipated lifting of some restrictions on pubs and restaurants on April 12th. For the hospitality industry this is another step in the right direction, with the possibility of all restrictions being lifted on 21st June. Interim measure planned for May 17th will give us better idea of the direction of travel, but some optimism is surely merited, and planning can at least begin in earnest.
Indoor spaces will not be available for the time-being, but with new research from money.co.uk revealing that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of over 18s are planning to hit the pub within the first six days of restrictions being lifted, and almost one in 10 on the very first day, suggests that pubs are going to get very busy.
Making the most of outdoor spaces at a time of year when the British weather is at its most unpredictable means some type of cover will be appreciated by customers.
Government have recognised that tents, canopies and marquees are an obvious solution to the problem, and the move to allow pubs and restaurants to erect marquees for longer than the current 28 days without planning permission is a welcome one. The plan to extend this through the summer till September means that businesses can really make the most of the opportunity.
Marquees, tents and canopies are an obvious solution to the problem, but understanding what constitutes an outdoor space is a good starting point, and the Health Act 2006 provides:
“…a marquee therefore, even if it is temporary, can only be considered to be outside space if over 50% of the sides have been removed … (this) does not take into account openings which are there for doors, windows, or other fittings which can be opened or shut.”
However, if an open side of the marquee or structure is within 1.5m of a wall, this no longer considered open due to the impact of the structure on ventilation.
For many public houses, a marquee situated in a beer garden or a car park will be a more than adequate solution given the range of sizes available plus various outdoor heating options.
Fews can offer various marquee solutions including traditional clear-span marquees and pagodas, from 3 metres to 25 metres in width and almost unlimited length. Flooring is optional but can be as simple as basic boards.
Our teams are able to erect marquees in restricted spaces, so that any outdoor area can be utilised to the max, and our use of weights means that the ground won’t be damaged.
Heating options include basic heaters to full heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. Bars can also be supplied.
Even beyond restrictions, this kind of structure can add valuable space to a venue with walls, doors and windows being added to make a cosy indoor area later in the year.
Options to consider
• Hire or buy
• Maximises space
• No planning permission
• No surface damage