UK pubs closing at rate of ’29 per week’
Source: the drinks business
by Lauren Eads
14th July, 2015
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched a fresh initiative in a bid to halt the closure of UK pubs, which are shutting their doors at a rate of 29 every week.
List Your Local Logo Final (1)CAMRA is calling upon its members to nominate their local pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) to prevent pubs being demolished or converted into other uses without planning permission. Pubs that achieve ACV status are given planning protection under laws introduced in April, with developers prevented from converting or demolishing pubs without proper consultation.
“Holes in the current planning system allow pubs to be sold off, demolished or converted to many other uses without planning permission or the involvement of the local community”, said Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s head of communications. “However when a pub is nominated as an Asset of Community Value it automatically receives planning protection meaning it is no longer a soft target to would-be developers looking to quickly purchase and convert or demolish the pub – which in some instances has literally happened overnight.”
Despite newly legislated laws to protect pubs through the ACV system, CAMRA has said measures currently don’t go far enough curb the closure of UK pubs, asserting that the next “logical step” was to extend protection to all pubs across England.
In the meantime, CAMRA hopes to increase the number of pubs with protected status to 3,000 by the end of 2016, with 800 pubs currently nominated. Admitting that is was an “ambitious target”, CAMRA said it was essential if England’s pubs are to be properly protected.
“Nominating a pub as an ACV is a surprisingly simple process”, said Stainer. “You can either nominate as an unincorporated group of 21 local people, as a Parish Council, or in connection with another local group including a CAMRA Branch. Some towns, such as Otley in West Yorkshire, have gone as far as nominating every pub in their area for ACV status to ensure all are protected in coming years.”