SAVE OUR PUBS!
Pubs are a vital part of local communities. Research from the IPPR highlights that pubs are the most popular location outside of the home for people to meet and get together with others in their neighbourhood. The New Economics Foundation estimated that 10.2% of money spent in supermarkets is retained locally compared to 20.6% of money spent in managed pubs.
The current planning system fails to give sufficient protection to valued community pubs, many of which have been established for hundreds of years and are fully integrated into the local area thus minimising negative land impacts. Here are some shocking figures to show the problem.
• 26 pubs are closing every week (Campaign for Real Ale, 2013)
• Over 400 pubs demolished in London alone (Keeping Local, GLA Conservatives Report)• No consultation is required to demolish a pub or convert it to a betting shop, payday loan store or supermarket
• Pubs support over 1 million UK jobs (Rick Muir, Pubs & Places, IPPR 2012)
• Each pub provides on average £80,000 to local economy each year (Rick Muir, Pubs & Places, IPPR 2012)
• 77% of people think planning permission should be required to convert pub to betting shop (TNS CAPI Omnibus Survey January 2012)
The flexibility for a pub to be converted into a wide range of uses without planning permission has created a market distortion and has artificially inflated the land value of pubs on sites especially attractive to other uses, particularly betting shops, pay day loan stores and supermarket metro style stores seeking to secure sites where an extensive battle over planning permission is not required. These gaps in the planning system mean local communities and the councils that represent them are denied a say in what’s happening in their neighbourhoods, and are unable to protect the services that matter to them.
There is a solution. Local Works and our coalition partners CAMRA have developed a proposal to be submitted under the Sustainable Communities Act which would make it harder for community pubs to be demolished or converted without planning permission:
That the Government help protect community pubs in England by ensuring that planning permission and community consultation are required before community pubs are allowed to be converted to betting shops, supermarkets and pay-day loan stores or other uses, or are allowed to be demolished.
Can you get spare a few minutes to ask your councillor to submit this proposal?