Pubs recognised for first time in Mayor's London planning guidelines

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

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Mayor Boris Johnson's new guidelines encourage authorities to 'maintain, manage and enhance' pubs
Mayor Boris Johnson's new guidelines encourage authorities to 'maintain, manage and enhance' pubs
The “important role” of London’s pubs has been recognised for the first time in Mayor Boris Johnson’s “London Plan”, the latest planning guidelines for the capital.

The new guidelines encourage the capital’s boroughs to “maintain, manage and enhance” pubs and supports authorities listing pubs as assets of community value, to protect the venues that “play a part in the social fabric of communities”.

The changes follow the publication of “Keeping Local: How to save London’s pubs as community resources”, a recent report cited in the plan, urging the improved protection for pubs in regards to demolishing or changing the use of them.

'Important milestone'

Report author Steve O’Connell, who is also GLA Conservatives planning spokesman and Conservative London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton, said the mention of pubs in the guidelines is “an important milestone” but called for the protection of pubs to be strengthened further.

“I would especially like to see a requirement for robust market testing for empty pub sites before any redevelopment can be considered,” he said.

“This means a potential developer would have to prove that they’ve marketed the site to prospective landlords for a reasonable amount of time, before planning permission can be considered for a new development such as housing.” 

Strict criteria

He added: “I would also like to see other strict criteria such as the need to demonstrate the pub has been vacant for at least two years, ensuring the character of the street scene is not detrimentally affected, and ensuring significant features of historic value are retained. I will be writing to the Mayor with my proposals.”


Rodger Molyneux, director of The Hope in Carshalton, said:“The local pub is a vital part of any community, even for people that don’t use it. It is a place where people can congregate safely, and can help rid our streets of anti-social drinking and drunken violence in public places.

“Pubs need all the protection they can get, and therefore it is great to see things progressing. Whilst the existence of pubs, for the very first time, in the Mayor’s planning guidelines is an important step, local authorities must turn this into action and do everything they can to save this great British institution.”

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