New figures show 31 pubs closing every week across UK

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

CAMRA has called on the Government to tackle the rising number of pub closures
CAMRA has called on the Government to tackle the rising number of pub closures
The pub closure rate has risen to 31 per week, prompting the Campaign for Real Ale to demand changes to the planning system.

The CGA - CAMRA Pub Tracker figures reveal the weekly closure rate has risen from 28 in December to 31 at the latest count. London and the South East was the worst hit area, with eight pubs a week shutting their doors. The figures also reveal that 3% of the nation’s surburban pubs have closed over the last six months.

North and Mid Wales was revealed as the least affected area – with an average of 0.2 pubs a week closing – although this is still down on December’s figure. After the South East, the Midlands was the hardest hit – with seven pubs being lost every week.

On the back of figures CAMRA has launched its Pubs Matter campaign, which calls on the Government to ensure a planning application is always required before a pub is demolished or converted to another use.

Tom Stainer, CAMRA head of communications, said: “Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control. It is utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission.

"A pub is an entirely different proposition to a convenience store, estate agent or funeral directors and the planning system needs updating to reflect this fact. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store."

Lobbying

CAMRA is encouraging visitors its Great British Beer Festival, which starts today, to lobby their MP using specially designed postcards, which can then be posted into boxes around the venue to be sent to the relevant MPs by CAMRA.

Stephen Langdon is part of a group of locals trying to save the Maiden Over pub in Reading, which has been threatened with conversion to a Tesco supermarket. He said: “We found out just a couple of weeks ago that our valued local pub is shutting. My first thought on learning that Tesco were involved was that they would struggle to get planning permission for change of use - I was stunned when I learned that there was no requirement for this at all.

“The reality is that our local pub, a genuine community venue and the only public meeting place within a large residential area, is very likely to disappear, and the local community has had scarcely any opportunity to voice an opinion on the matter.” 

For more information about the Pubs Matter campaign go to www.pubsmatter.org.uk

Region

% point change

Per week

London & South East

-2

-8.4

Lowland & Eastern Scotland

-2

-1.6

Midlands

-2

-6.6

North & Mid-Wales

-1

-0.2

North & NE England

-2

-5.3

NW England

-2

-4.7

South Wales

-2

-1.6

SW England

-1

-2

Western Scotland

-1

-0.3

Total

-2

-30.7

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41 comments

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Analogy

Posted by robert sayles,

RFM - No I didn't say I supported the smoking ban.

http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Opinion/Robert-Sayles/Learning-to-live-with-the-ban

I merely quoted from the link John posted.

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Analogy

Posted by RFM,

Graham uses a great analogy.

Robert I take your response is because you favour the smoking ban. Your choice of course, all I would say is that there is ample evidence the ban closed more pubs than any other cause.

It could be stated that 90% of all pro smoking ban studies were sponsored by the vested interests in the Pharmaceutical Industry, either by direct Government support ( such as Labours 2002 deal for free drugs) or through bogus charities like the Roberts Wood Johnson Foundation, wholly funded by Johnson and Johnson a major supplier of smoking cessation products.

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This is the truth

Posted by Graham Bell,

RFM is right to ask are customers really bothered? The answer is unfortunately no. Their habits have been, and will remain, forced to change. Stop beating the landlords, condemning all as bad managers, in need of training. The industry did not choose to change, it has had to respond to a force to change. Did anyone try to force a sub post office owner to become a baker?

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