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We did it, we won! CAMRA celebrates pub planning loophole closure

Written by Tom Blakemore

Today marks a historic win for pub goers, consumers and CAMRA members.

After years of campaigning led by CAMRA and active members in this branch, the Government has today announced a historic change in the law to protect all English pubs in the planning system.

This removes a longstanding loophole that has enabled developers to demolish pubs or convert them to another retail use without applying for planning permission.

Following this decision communities will now have the right to have a say in the future of their pubs.

This is a huge success which could not have been achieved without our members. Together, CAMRA members have sent over 8,000 emails to politicians in the last three months alone. The voice of members like those in this branch was essential in securing this win for pubs.

All pubs in England will now be given the protection they deserve, and owners will always have to apply for planning permission before they can convert or demolish a pub.

Although this change comes too late for those pubs we’ve already lost in our branch area, it will be crucial to supporting all the great pubs which remain for generations to come.

This is a huge win for pub goers and consumers and helps secure a thriving pubs industry for all to enjoy.

CAMRA Chief Executive Tim Page said: “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. The decision to respond positively to CAMRA’s campaign is further evidence of Government’s support for the pub sector and follows on from the decision earlier this month to provide most English pubs with a £1,000 discount in the business rates they pay.”

“This announcement is the result of the work of thousands of local campaigners and CAMRA members who have been calling for an end to the loopholes in existing legislation that have been used by developers to close wonderful, viable and well-supported local pubs. This change also wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of Lord Kennedy in securing the support of the House of Lords earlier this month. Lord Kennedy’s efforts to support the future of local pubs at the heart and soul of communities will benefit pub goers for generations to come.”

“This change delivers real and robust protection to valued community pubs, which previously have relied on communities going through the bureaucratic process of securing Asset of Community Value (ACV) listings, or local authorities choosing to use complex and obscure Article 4 directions.

“We will work with the Government to ensure these measures are implemented as soon as possible to allow pubs across England to start benefiting from the protection of the planning system.”

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