Campaigners rejoice as Government backs plans to close planning loophole

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

27 March 2017

Campaigners are celebrating 'a fantastic victory' that saw the Government back plans to prevent pubs being demolished or turned into convenience stores without planning applications.

A loophole in planning law has allowed retail chains to quickly turn many pubs into stores in recent years. Campaigners fear this is accelerating the decline of on-trade outlets in communities across the UK, but the Government has announced it will support a measure to close the loophole.

'The loophole has not only denied local communities a say in their beloved locals’ futures, but also made pubs a "soft target" for developers, contributing to 21 net pub closures every week,' said CAMRA chief executive Tim Page. 'The Government’s decision will bring a halt to developers exploiting loopholes and will give communities the right to have a say in the future of their pubs.

I am delighted that the Government has listened to my amendment to close the loophole, Lord Roy Kennedy

'The decision will not prevent the development of pubs, but will require developers to apply for planning permission to convert or demolish a pub, allowing for members of the local community to express their opinions as part of that process.'

CAMRA campaigners worked closely with the shadow spokesman for communities and local government, Lord Roy Kennedy, who won a vote on this issue in the House of Lords last month, and with ministers, MPs, peers and departmental officials.

The Government has put the opinions of those who recognise the value that pubs provide to them and their communities above the commercial interests of a few organisations and individuals, Tim Page

Kennedy said: 'I am delighted that the Government has listened to my amendment to close the loophole that allowed pubs to be lost without the local community having a say. This is a victory for common sense, the much loved British pub and responsible drinkers everywhere.'

Page added: 'Politicians are chosen to represent the views of those who elect them. We are delighted that in deciding to require owners to apply for planning permission if they want to close a pub, the Government has put the opinions of those who recognise the value that pubs provide to them and their communities above the commercial interests of a few organisations and individuals.

'This is a fantastic victory for campaigners who have secured the removal of a loophole which allowed pubs to be redeveloped or demolished without reference to the local community or planners.'

 

 

Related content

News |  People & Places

UK government to relax planning rules for restaurants and pubs

The government is to relax planning rules so that on-trade venues can operate as hot-food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

News |  People & Places

BBPA in planning process for pubs reopening

The British Beer & Pub Association says four weeks is needed post-lockdown for pubs and breweries to have time to prepare for business in the wake of coronavirus.

News

Government plans to ban plastic straws by October 2020

The drinks industry may have spearheaded the movement to ditch plastic straws, but government is finally catching up with plans to introduce new laws

News |  People & Places

Government says bars, pubs and restaurants have to close. Here's what you need to do

With thanks to our friends at FAM, London, who sadly closed their doors earlier this week, here’s a checklist of things that need to be done if you’re facing a shutdown due to coronavirus.