Pub planning law change moves a step closer

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Law

The Carpenters Arms in Cambridge closed in the summer last year - local MP Julian Huppert is hoping to pass a law protecting pubs from planning laws and change of use policies
The Carpenters Arms in Cambridge closed in the summer last year - local MP Julian Huppert is hoping to pass a law protecting pubs from planning laws and change of use policies
A possible change in the law to protect community pubs and bars from planning decisions and stop venues from becoming victims to changes of use has moved a step closer after passing the first parliamentary stage in the House of Commons.

The Ten Minute Rule Bill was introduced by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert who is also a member of the All-Party 'Save the Pub' group of MPs and Lords. It will now get a second reading later this year.

The Local Services (Planning) Bill, which has been supported by Camra, seeks to stop local shops and pubs from being demolished or their premises or land being granted a change of use. The change would differentiate between independent businesses and the development of housing, supermarkets or large chains.

If passed it would place new constraints on changing use away from pubs. It would also allow local authorities to require any granting of planning permission for pubs and bars.

The law change is the latest attempt to protect pubs from planning laws - most recently the City Council in Huppert's constituency introduced a consultation on changing local regulations​ to stop pubs councillors believe are profitable from being forced to close.

Related topics: Business, Legislation, Pubs & Bars, Venues

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2 comments

Pub Planning Law

Posted by Steve James,

What a surprise, yet another bill being passed by band waggon jumping MP’s
The pubs being sold a failing businesses that cannot cope with cheaper booze readily available at supermarkets and off-licences, not to mentioned the increased taxi fares to get to and from these premises.

It’s clear to anyone with a brain what the actual problem is however MP’s will not go head to head with big corporations preferring to attack smaller local entrepreneurs.

As is it currently stands most planning departments would like to see some form of marketing for failed/closed pub, typically 12 - 18 months before considering whether a change of use is suitable.
In this time you can bet the every local busy body is complaining that the but is becoming an eyesore and a haven for undesirables.
CAMRA are very good at drumming up support when a pub has closed but where are they when the landlord is crying out for customers who will visit their establishment more than once a year and make a pint last all night!

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Bill misses the real target

Posted by Neil Morgan,

No profitable pub will close. If pubcos were to dispose of such pubs, there would be a queue of buyers waiting to take on the businesses as going concerns. The sale of a pub for alternative use is simply a symptom of a community having deserted their local. If communities really love their pub, they would use it and, therefore, its sale for alternative use wouldn’t ever be a consideration. Perhaps MPs should instead consider a Bill to outlaw the below-cost selling of alcohol in supermarkets - and both rid us of the sight of empty beer cans littering our streets and parks, whilst giving pubs a level playing field on which to operate with the supermarkets.

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