Decision details

Pro active enforcement of planning controls for temporary buildings and structures

Decision Maker: Director of Environment - Mike Redman

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


To delegate authority from the Director of Environment, Environmental to the Head of Planning for the specific purpose of proactive enforcement of planning controls, as they apply to the erection of temporary buildings and structures during Covid-19.

To take a proactive approach to the enforcement of planning controls as they apply to the erection of temporary buildings and structures during Covid-19.

Reasons for the decision:

Covid-19 has presented a wide range of challenges to the safe and ongoing operation of many business and institutions in our Town. One issue that has become clear is the need, in some instances, for more physical space to accommodate social distancing and safer operations. For some, temporary structures/buildings (for example porta cabins, portable buildings, portable welfare blocks) may provide a solution to this issue on a temporary basis.

In most instances temporary structures (for example a porta-cabin or covered seating area) require planning permission. Given the current COVID-19 circumstances, we will allow temporary structures/buildings to be placed on land without planning permission for up-to 6 months (initially) in certain circumstances, to ensure the successful running of existing businesses and institutions in the town, whilst adhering to the government’s COVID-19 guidance. This represents a proactive approach to the enforcement of planning controls, whereby we will investigate breaches of planning controls up front (instead of reactive enforcement once temporary structures have been erected OR instead of requiring businesses to apply for planning permission which inevitably takes time). This will not apply to residential properties. Structures on the Highway/Public Realm are subject to different guidance being developed by our Licencing Team.

Alternative options considered:

Do nothing – may serve to have a detrimental and disproportionate impact on the economy of Cheltenham

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Positive responses from all involved.


Leaders of all local parties

Relevant Cabinet Members

Chair of Planning Committee and Liciencing Committee

All members via email

Contact: Mike Redman, Director of Environment 01242 264160 Email:

Publication date: 10/06/2020

Date of decision: 10/06/2020

Accompanying Documents: