ALMR supports London mayor’s 'agent-of-change' stance

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Plans backed: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is keen to protect pubs
Plans backed: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is keen to protect pubs

Related tags Night-time economy Night

In response to Sadiq Khan’s consultation on culture and the night-time economy, which recognises the importance of protecting London’s pubs, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has said the 'agent-of-change' principle should “become the norm in planning decisions”.

The agent-of-change principle would prevent licensed venues being forced to pay for soundproofing for newly built homes.

The consultation, which closes today (31 May), requested views on the mayor’s draft culture and night-time economy supplementary planning guidance​, which provides advice on ensuring that existing policy is used as “effectively as possible” to protect London’s nightlife.

The document states that between 2003 and 2012, when London’s population increased by almost 800,000 people, some 900 London pub sites changed to other uses and more than 400 pubs were demolished.

How to protect pubs

In its section dedicated to protecting pubs, it recommends boroughs can use “planning tools” available.

In addition to adopting the agent-of-change principle, the draft's recommends removing permitted development rights by using an Article 4 direction.

This, among a raft of others, would improve the protection for pubs from developers keen to demolish premises to build flats.

Fantastic contribution

The ALMR also suggested late-night levies and early morning restriction orders should not be introduced in London because they “damage the night time economy”.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The consultation shows that the mayor’s office understands and appreciates the fantastic contribution being made by businesses in the night-time economy.”

“The mayor and the night czar have already made some positive noises regarding the sector and the ALMR has been liaising with them to make sure they follow through with their support.”

Nicholls said London’s night-time economy is worth more than £26bn and is one of the city’s “greatest assets”.

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