Bill to protect pubs from demolition set to be proposed by MP today

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Local pubs Pub group Demolition

Bill to protect pubs from demolition set to be proposed by MP today
A law to allow local authorites to require planning permission to demolish a pub or change its use is set to be proposed as part of a new Private Members Bill in Parliament today.

Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group is set to introduce the bill under the ’10 Minute Rule Motion’.

Currently, local authorities have few legal powers to prevent pub closures. The bill would make it much harder for pub chains to sell local pubs to property developers or retail giants. It would also protect local shops and make it harder for cut-price supermarkets to dominate high streets.

Huppert said: “I am delighted that CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) and the All-Party group have come out in support of this bill. This gives a clear message to the Government that we need a change in the law before many of our community pubs are lost forever.

“In my constituency alone, we’ve lost 22 pubs in the last three years. This often has a devastating effect on local communities. And in far too many cases it’s a direct result of supermarkets dominating the local economy.

“This bill would give local authorities, such as Cambridge City Council which has fought tirelessly to defend local pubs, the power to save our high streets and the communities they serve.”

Greg Mulholland MP, chair of Save the Pub Group, added: “It is a national scandal that profitable and wanted pubs are being closed or demolished by unscrupulous developers, pub companies and supermarket chains as a result of absurd loopholes in the planning system, which mean that pubs can be changed into shops, betting shops and pay-day loan shops or even demolished without planning permission.

“If pubs were subject to planning permission there would have to be a full and proper process for every application to close a pub, allowing the community to have a say, which currently all too often they are denied, which is disgraceful. It would also allow for a viability test to take place to test if the pub was wanted by the local community and also viable.”

CAMRA head of public affairs Jonathan Mail said: “Too many profitable community pubs have been lost forever as a result of being closed by property developers who show disregard for the jobs and community spirit dependent on successful pubs.”

Related topics Property law Legislation

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