Under the current planning system, pubs are subject to delays when making fairly small alterations to premises, but the BBPA has submitted evidence on the National Planning Policy Framework, which could in effect remove those delays.
"On planning, the Government is right to pursue a reforming agenda,” said Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive. “It is a critical component of a growth strategy for Britain.
"We need a ‘can-do’ culture from councils – and this means a presumption in favour of approving improvements or expansions of small and sustainable businesses like breweries or pubs, whilst of course taking on board legitimate development control concerns.”
While the current planning debate focuses on tackling delays in bringing forward major development projects, the BBPA insists that other significant red tape restraints in the system should not be ignored, as they are holding back many small businesses like pubs. In fact, it believes that planning reform would help pubs and other small business to become the engine driving Britain’s economic recovery.
Simmonds added: “Time wasted while local authorities ponder minor changes means lost revenue for these businesses, which have been enduring an ever increasing burden of high taxes and red tape in recent years. For a sector on which almost one million jobs depend, this matters to the whole economy.”
Key proposals from the BBPA included within the evidence are:
- A strong ‘yes’ to the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
- A greater focus on tourism development, as a key area which could be included in local plans.
- Less restrictions on ‘change of use’ rules, to prevent unnecessary barriers, particularly in town centres.
The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.