CAMRA says 600 ACV-listed pubs landmark is 'bittersweet'

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house, Convenience store, Camra

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has announced that 600 pubs are now listed as assets of community value (ACV), following the organisation’s List Your Local initiative.

The campaign was set up by the body last year with the aim of helping local communities stop their pubs being sold off. The listing means locals are given six months to raise finance to purchase the pub before it can be put on the open market.

However, CAMRA said the landmark is “bittersweet” as the Government is still letting communities down by allowing conversion of pubs to supermarkets without planning permission, even though permission is required to turn a convenience store into a pub.

It cited the Golden Harp in Maidenhead, which was converted into a Tesco earlier this year, despite the fact the local community had successfully listed the pub as an ACV.

Tom Stainer, head of communications at CAMRA, said: “The Government introduced ACVs to help communities retain valued community assets such as pubs by providing an opportunity to bid for the property if the owner intends to sell.

“But the scheme is undermined by rules that allow pubs to be converted into supermarket convenience stores and a wide range of other retail uses, without any need for planning application.”

Stainer added that the lack of protection for pubs is a “glaring anomaly in the English planning system which needs to be corrected”.

Earlier this year CAMRA launched a Pubs Matter campaign calling for the Government to close current loopholes and ensure planning permission is always required before a pub is demolished or converted into another use.

It follows research carried out by the body that revealed two pubs a week are converted into supermarkets.

Community pubs minister Kris Hopkins said: “Local pubs are part of the social and cultural fabric of this nation and this Government is determined to protect them. That is why we have already abolished the unpopular beer and alcohol duty escalators, cut business taxes for pubs and armed communities with the right to protect their treasured local from closure by listing it as a community asset.

“This Government is committed to supporting valued community pubs, whilst avoiding heavy-headed regulation which would do more harm than good by leading to boarded up, empty buildings.”

Related topics: Beer

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