Changes to ACV planning law to be laid 'before General Election'

By Ellie Bothwell contact

- Last updated on GMT

The changes mean planning permission would be required to change the use of or demolish ACV-listed pubs
The changes mean planning permission would be required to change the use of or demolish ACV-listed pubs

Related tags: Public house

Plans to strengthen planning legislation for pubs listed as assets of community value (ACV) will be heard in parliament “in the next few weeks”, communities minister Stephen Williams has claimed.

Last month, the Government announced its intention to introduce legislation meaning planning permission would be required to change the use of or demolish ACV-listed pubs.

Williams said he has since been pressed on whether the change will be implemented before the election, but assured campaigners the new regulations would be introduced shortly.

“Both myself and my coalition colleague Kris Hopkins, community pubs minister, are absolutely determined,” he said.“We will be laying the secondary legislation in this parliament in the next few weeks in order to make the legal change. It really will give the Localism Act absolute teeth.”

Speaking at the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) parliamentary reception last week, Williams urged pub supporters to get their locals ACV-listed “now it will come with protection”.

Calls for more action

Last week, the Communities and Local Government (CLG) committee called on the Government to strengthen ACV planning laws even further and suggested changes including increasing the moratorium on the sale of an ACV pub from six to nine months; introducing a right to appeal against a council’s decision not to list an asset; and closing the loophole that allows an ACV to be sold as a going concern when the buyer has no intention of retaining it in its current use.

Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee, said the wording of the Government’s new changes needs to ensure that a pub with ACV status “can’t just be sold — lose its ACV status and its protection from change of use — and then be converted to something else overnight”.

Tim Page, chief executive of CAMRA, added: “We now urge the Government to deliver on this promise before the general election, but crucially to get the detail right. In particular, we want to see a commitment from ministers that they will close the potential loophole in their plans whereby pubs listed as ACVs will lose this planning protection when sold on to a developer with vacant possession.”

Related topics: Property law

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2 comments

Oldest Profession

Posted by Objective Observer,

There was me thinking this article was about pubs. Certainly old but not as old as other professions.

It is fair to say that some see the only equality is totally inequality in favour of lessees.

Who's to say whether a Coop local is not perceived as an equal or better social amenity especially to the elderly and those with mobility issues.

I like pubs like most do but if they cannot sustain themselves without this type of legislation then perhaps they should be put to better use.

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ACV and A4D Together Barely Even a Fig Leaf

Posted by J Mark Dodds,

Protecting pubs isn't a very popular thing with government is it?

Certainly isn't a popular subject with the 'Pubs' Minister' or any other junior from DCLG who pump out hot air and no substance about pubs' protection in planning.

ACV and A4D provide nothing more than a fig leaf.

Stephen Williams and Kris Hopkins ought to get out more often, to pubs that is, and talk to the people who are being affected by the thousands of pubs that are going to the wall every year 'divested' by pubco's and private freeholders cashing in on property prices that make them worth more as a pile of rubble or a Coop Local than as a social hub and heart of community.

They won't bother with anything like that of course... Like Brandon Lewis and Andrew Griffiths the men in government who are named as having responsibility and care for the oldest profession in the world after being politicians just don't cut the mustard beyond saying they do things that they don't, actually, do.

Good thing there's an election coming. Whatever happens there's going to be a changing of the chocolate fire guard.

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