Bill aims to list community pub as separate planning classification

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Community pubs Need

Greg Mulholland says his bill would protect pubs
Greg Mulholland says his bill would protect pubs
A Bill calling for community pubs to be listed in their own use class has received support from the three major political parties after it was presented in Parliament yesterday.

The National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill, brought forward by Save the Pub Group chair Greg Mulholland MP in the House of Commons yesterday, aims to give local communities a greater role in planning decisions.

It has attracted cross-party support, with backing from 11 MPs from the three main parties.

One of the key measures outlined in the Bill is to close planning loopholes that allow pubs and other local facilities to be converted into retail use without the need for planning permission. It calls for a revision of use class orders, including the introduction of a separate class for community pubs, and for a “genuine” community right to buy for assets of community value.


Mulholland said: "It is a national scandal that we are losing valued community pubs up and down the country, without local communities being able to have any say, due to the weakness of the planning system.

“It is simply absurd that you can turn a pub into a supermarket or office without even needing to get planning permission for what is clearly a fundamental change of use - and the permanent loss of a community facility.”  

He added that ministers are “good are talking about how much they value pubs” but do not follow this through by ensuring pubs are protected.

Community value

"With a separate use class order for pubs, not only would any attempt to change the use of a pub have to go through the planning process, but it also would allow specific rate relief for pubs, to properly acknowledge their community value,” he continued.

He also criticised the current community right to bid policy, which means communities can raise substantial sums of money, “only to be snubbed” by an owner who wants to sell the property for non-pub use or redevelop it.

“The success of ACVs needs to be measured not in terms of how many have been listed, but how many of these have actually been saved as a result,” he said.

Related topics Property law

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