MP calls for pub community consultation

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Mp greg mulholland, Call option, Greg mulholland

Mulholland: concerns over right to buy
Mulholland: concerns over right to buy
Each time a pub closes and faces demolition or change of use there should be a community consultation, says MP Greg Mulholland.

Each time a pub closes and faces demolition or change of use there should be a community consultation — that's the view of pro-pub MP Greg Mulholland.

Speaking at a Westminster debate, the Lib Dem also said the Coalition needs to make sure that a proper independent viability test takes place to ensure that that profitable pubs are not closed down.

Mulholland, also chair of the Save the Pub Group, said: "At the moment, free standing pubs can be demolished overnight without any planning permission. It is perfectly legal without any consultation from the local community to turn the pub into a Tesco, a cafe or a restaurant.

"The planning system is so weak that successful and profitable pubs are facing closure often against the wishes of the people running them. It's a scandal."

Try to buy

Mulholland expressed concerns about how effective the community right to buy in the Localism Bill is. He said that it is more of a "try to buy".

"The question to ask is realistically, how many communities will try to buy and raise thousands when they know the owner will sell to Tesco for far more?"

He also called for a six month moratorium to see if there are other people wanting to take on a pub.

"We need to have a genuine independent community consultation," he said. "And it has to be carried out by the council, not the developer posting out short questionnaires."

MP Chris Williamson replied to Mulholland's argument by explaining that as there are many job cuts leading to millions losing their jobs, people do not have the money to go to the pub, leading to the hospitality trade suffering.

Communities minister Bob Neill promised the issues will be examined in consultation this summer and defended the right to buy, calling it a "powerful tool".

Related topics: Legislation

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