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CAMRA Launches Pubs Matter Campaign

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CAMRA Launches Pubs Matter Campaign

CAMRA Launches Pubs Matter Campaign
August 19
11:46 2014

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is lobbying the UK Government over failure to close planning loopholes – as pub closures rise to 31 per week. CAMRA has launched a new ‘Pubs Matter’ campaign, which calls on the Government to recognise that pubs matter and make a simple change to the law in England so a planning application is always required before a pub is demolished or converted into another use.

Currently pubs can be demolished or converted to supermarkets, estate agents and a range of other uses without planning permission.

The weekly pub closure rate has risen to 31 per week from 28 as of December 2013 and 26 in March of the same year – with suburban areas being the worst hit, with 3% of the nation’s suburban pubs being lost over the last six months.

“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 utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission. A pub is an entirely different proposition to a convenience store, estate agent or funeral directors and the planning system needs updating to reflect this fact. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store,” comments Tom Stainer, CAMRA head of communications.

The Pubs Matter campaign was launched at the recent Great British Beer Festival, CAMRA’s flagship event.

Pubs support over 1 million UK jobs and inject an average of £80,000 into their local economy each year. Research by CAMRA found that two pubs are converted to supermarkets every week between January 2012-2014. 69% of pub-goers believe that a well-run community pub is as important to community life as a post office, local shop or community centre. Furthermore, 75% of all adults believe that pubs make a valuable contribution to life in Britain.

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