CAMRA has launched a new hard-hitting campaign to urge the Government to close national planning loopholes.
The campaign, ‘Pubs Matter: So why can’t we have a say’, aims to give power back to local communities by ensuring planning permission is always required before the change of use or demolition of a pub.
Local pubs are currently closing at an alarming rate and every week two pubs are converted into supermarkets. CAMRA says the current planning system too often leaves local communities powerless to act in the face of big companies and unscrupulous developers keen to exploit these loopholes.
Under current planning law, pubs can be demolished or converted into several other uses including supermarkets and estate agents without requiring planning permission.
CAMRA says allowing pubs to be converted without a planning application is ludicrous – and Government must step in and close these loopholes as a matter of urgency.
Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications said: “Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control.
“It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store.
“It is time for the Government to stop standing by while pubs are being targeted due to gaps in planning law.”
With a simple amendment to the General Permitted Development Order 1995, any demolition or change of use involving the loss of a pub would require planning permission.
This small change by Government would save hundreds of pubs from closure and give communities a powerful new weapon in the battle to protect our pubs.
To support the campaign please go to www.pubsmattter.org.uk