The use of marquees in outdoor spaces

COVID-19: How can you use marquees in your outdoor space?

We would like to take a supportive approach to help local businesses open and operate in a safe manner. We have detailed some advice below on how to effectively use marquees in your outdoor space.

Use of marquees

Marquees of certain types or in particular locations require planning permission. To support businesses at this time, we will not take action against marquees that are put up without planning permission, unless there are serious environmental or amenity concerns arising from them such as:

  • Repeated noise nuisance at unsociable hours, for example from a temporary external cover or marquee
  • Road Safety hazards from insufficient parking if displaced for use by customers
  • Environmental harm, for example to trees, hedges or wildlife
  • Damage to Listed Buildings
  • Obstruction of rights of way
  • Production of litter or other debris

Should you have any amenity concerns arising from the erection of a marquee you should contact the planning department on 01909 533 491.

How long can your marquee stay up for?

We are using our discretionary enforcement power to support businesses and allow them to operate in a safe way, during this time. The current position will be reviewed in October 2020 and further guidance will be issued. Each case will be dealt with on its individual circumstances then. Please contact the planning department on 01909 533491 in October for further guidance.

What can you do if a marquee is blocking your view, including in conservation areas?

We are taking a supportive approach to help businesses open and operate in a safe environment. We will take each complaint on an individual case, but are unlikely to take action, during this time unless it causes serious issues, which are identified above (Use of marquees).

Parking on the road

Many pubs may be using their outdoor spaces, including car parks to put up marquees during this time. This has not altered any regulations to on road parking, including blocking building and residential entrances. We advise all owners to manage their customers' parking and we can encourage that premises put temporary signage up. If you have any concerns, this is a police and highways enforcement matter.


The legislation has remained unchanged; the Council has no power to remove the need to obtain the permission of the relevant landowner for the use of adjacent/nearby land. We are taking a supportive approach to our discretionary powers. It is unlikely that we will choose to enforce until the end of September unless there is a serious breach of environmental or amenity issues.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024