MP shines spotlight on pub development laws

By Liam Coleman

- Last updated on GMT

Permitted development rights question: Rochdale MP has asked for information
Permitted development rights question: Rochdale MP has asked for information

Related tags: Westminster system, House of lords, Question

Simon Danczuk MP has asked a Government minister to clarify the effect permitted development rights have had on pub closures.

The Rochdale MP last week submitted a written question to the Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Gavin Barwell, asking him to explain how much permitted development rights have led to “the conversion or demolition of pubs”.

Responding to the question, Barwell said: “[A] briefing provided by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) suggests that only 10% of the pubs that change use do so under permitted development rights.

“Planning permission is required where permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition are removed. Planning applications are determined in accordance with the local plan, any neighbourhood plan, and other material considerations.

“It is not possible to estimate what proportion of these pubs that have changed use via permitted development rights would in any case have received planning permission to do so or, if refused planning permission, would have closed.”

Upping the focus

Danczuk had previously voted in favour of an amendment​ to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, which would have removed permitted development rights for pubs across the country. On that occasion, he was in the minority, with the amendment being rejected by MPs.

Regardless, an identical amendment has now been proposed by the House of Lords​, with MPs set to vote on that in the coming weeks.

On top of that, two London boroughs have taken the step of removing permitted development rights​ for pubs at a local level. Both Southwark and Wandsworth Council have put Article 4 directions in place over the past year, meaning that the change of use or demolition of pubs in those boroughs would now have to first be approved by the council. 

Related topics: Property law

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