Councils move to halt pub closures12th August, 2013 by Andy Young
Councils in England have listed 100 pubs as “assets of value to the community” in a move which is designed to halt the number of pub closures.
The government said that under new Community Right to Bid powers, local authorities can make sure a pub isn’t sold without a proper local community consultation.
Community pubs minister Brandon Lewis said councils will have greater ability to refuse planning permission from developers, while local communities will have up to six months to put in a bid to buy a pub which is for sale.
Mr Lewis will go into more detail when he opens the Campaign for Real Ale’s (Camra) Great British Beer Festival in London on Tuesday.
He said: “Camra’s campaign to list your local is doing a fabulous job raising awareness of our new Community Right to Bid and I am delighted that in 100 loved locals have now been listed as assets of community value.
“We have known for hundreds of years just how valuable our locals are. Not just as a place to grab a pint but also to the economies and communities of those they serve and that is why we are doing everything we can to support and safeguard community pubs from closure.”
Camra’s chief executive Mike Benner said: “Camra is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital importance of pubs and empowered communities to protect them. By listing their local, communities are ensuring that if the pub is under threat in the future, there is a much-needed extra layer of protection which “stops the clock” should it be put up for sale.”
Several communities have raised concerns that local pubs are being turned into supermarkets and other retail outlets, without proper consultation.
Camra’s Neil Walker added: “It’s a safeguard for the future, even if the pub is not in danger at the moment, and it puts communities in a really strong position. It’s ridiculous to say a betting shop provides the same service to the community as a well-run pub.”