More than 750 pubs shut in H1 2023

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Shocking figures: 30 pubs a week lost in first six months of the year (Credit: Getty/whitemay)
Shocking figures: 30 pubs a week lost in first six months of the year (Credit: Getty/whitemay)

Related tags Camra Legislation Property

Some 30 pubs a week closed across the first six months of the year, “shocking” figures from the Campaign for Ale (CAMRA) have revealed.

The data showed 772 sites had been classed as long-term closed during this period, equivalent to 30 pubs a week, while 95 were converted or demolished with 31 of those lacking the relevant planning permission.

CAMRA pub and club campaigns director Gary Timmins said: “Today's figures must be a wakeup call for Government at all levels to take a more proactive approach in ensuring compliance with the National Planning Policy Framework.”

According to CAMRA, UK pubs in England cannot be converted or demolished without planning permission, which “empowers” communities to have their say on the future of their locals.

Clearer guidance 

However, the campaign stated the figures, released today (Tuesday 1 August), demonstrated a third of pub losses happen without the planning process having taken place.

“The pub trade is resilient, but it's simply unacceptable that developers are able to flout planning regulations in this manner.  

“CAMRA has been calling for more consistent enforcement of planning requirements by councils for some time.

“We believe if Local Planning Authorities are not able to apply pub protections as set out in legislation, then Government in Westminster must step in to provide clearer guidance”, Timmins continued.

Despite this, CAMRA added while the outlook for pubs was "undoubtedly serious", numbers were up overall across the six-month period with a total of 127 new sites opened. 

Pub protection 

This comes as calls have “mounted” for the Government to change its plans for High Street Rental Auctions, which would see developers gain the ability to convert vacant pubs without the need to apply for planning permission, according to CAMRA.

Moreover, the campaign implored cutting communities out of this decision could lead to the loss of “valued” community facilities. 

Timmins added: “These are national policies in England and yet the variation that our campaigners see between councils with the strongest pub protection policies, and those that view pubs as an inconvenience, is shocking.  

“We are also calling on the Welsh Government to urgently introduce and enforce planning protections for pubs in Wales – and for the Scottish Government to end the current loophole where pubs can be demolished without planning permission.” 

Related topics Beer

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