Trade bodies welcome draft London Plan

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Protection proposal: draft London Plan aims to help pubs and night economy
Protection proposal: draft London Plan aims to help pubs and night economy

Related tags: Public house

Trade bodies have welcomed London Mayor Sadiq Khan's draft London Plan - which pledges to protect pubs and the night-time economy.

The draft London Plan​ – the mayor’s overall planning strategy for the capital, which has been published this week – sets out plans to protect and grow the city’s culture and creative industries through a range of "bold measures". 

Within it are sections designated to introducing the 'agent-of-change' principle, promoting London as a 24-hour city, and protecting pubs.

To do this, the plan proposes to "push local authorities" to recognise the heritage, economic, social and cultural value of pubs and ensure they are protected for local communities.

It will ask boroughs to back proposals for new public houses to stimulate town centre regeneration, and to urge boroughs to resist applications to redevelop areas directly connected to public houses – such as beer gardens, function rooms or landlord accommodation – so that they retain their appeal to local people and visitors, and remain viable businesses. 

Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "It is good to see the mayor’s office taking seriously the opportunity to support London’s hugely important eating and drinking-out sector and a recognition that pubs and live music are at the heart of the London Plan.

"The commitment to the agent-of-change principle is very welcome, and something the ALMR has been pushing for.

"It is also very welcoming to see the capital’s pubs, restaurants, music venues and nightclubs being recognised as the valuable social and economic assets they are, and a desire to work proactively to encourage their growth.”

Great contribution

By introducing the agent-of-change principle, boroughs will have to refuse proposals from developers that do not clearly demonstrate how they will manage noise impact – solving the problem of venues having to close as a result of adjacent new developments.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "I welcome the fact that the draft plan recognises the great contribution that pubs make to the economy and social life of London.

“In particular, the agent-of-change proposal is one that we have long argued for, and would ensure that pubs are not threatened by new housing developments through complaints about noise from pubs that have been trading for hundreds of years. 

“We will certainly be responding to the consultation because there are also some aspects that will need careful consideration, including a proposal around the need to market a pub for a specific period of time before any change of use and how this might work in practice.”

  • The consultation on the new draft London Plan begins on Friday 1 December. From 4 December 2017 you will be able to comment on the plan online. All comments must be received by 5pm on Friday 2 March 2018.

Related topics: Legislation

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