Shadow minister for London: 'asset of community value for pubs not a realistic option in the city'

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pub, London

Save the Wheatsheaf: Sadiq Khan outside the Tooting pub
Save the Wheatsheaf: Sadiq Khan outside the Tooting pub
The shadow minister for London has said that asset of community value (ACV) registration is not a “realistic option” for pubs in the city.

Sadiq Khan, who is also MP for Tooting in south London, is currently campaigning to protect his local pub, the Wheatsheaf. The site has become the 101st pub to be registered as an ACV.

However, Khan believes that more needs to be done to protect the south London venue, so is pushing for an Article 4 Direction. This means any proposed change of use will have to go through a planning committee.

ACV status means that if a pub is put up for sale, a community has six months to raise the necessary funds to bid to buy the venue.

It was mooted that Enterprise Inns, which owns the pub, was looking to sell it to a supermarket chain. However, the pubco confirmed that this is not the case.

'Short-term solution'

In an exclusive interview with the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, Khan said: “Registering a pub as an asset of community value is a short-term solution. It allows a six-month limbo, and it only works where the property is cheap.”

Khan said he understands that locals would have to raise in excess of £2m, and Enterprise would have no obligation to sell the pub to the community.

“It’s happened in other parts of the country where property is cheaper, but in London it’s not really a realistic option,” he added.

Khan said that a possible solution would be to have different pub protection policies for urban areas, where property prices are high, and rural areas.

He explained that ACV status for country pubs has helped communities to take over their local.

“I think we need to consider different policies for urban and rural pubs.

“In the countryside, pubs and post offices are the community hubs, so people have used the ACV to take over a pub or a post office.”

He added: “ACVs are OK outside London, but inside London Article 4 Direction is the way forward.”

Safeguarding pubs

Khan also called on the Greater London Authority (GLA) to improve “policies in relation to London and pubs”. “That means the safeguarding of pubs that are there, saying to local authorities that you need very good reasons to allow the change of use of a pub — encourage local authorities to make Article 4 Directions and explain to them the merits of doing so,” said Khan.

He said he wants the GLA to map out where there is a shortage of pubs and look at where it needs to be careful about losing any pubs.

Related topics: Legislation

Related news

Show more