Give Pubs Protection
Far too many pubs are lost to alternative use when they have a viable future as a pub, through ‘predatory purchasing’ by developers and supermarket and often because the value of the pub site for development is greater than its value simply as a pub. We want to see proper protection for pubs to stop this.
We believe in the right of communities to have a say over the future of their local pubs, and that the community has ‘moral ownership’ of a pub when it has been serving that community for many years. It is wrong that simply because a property speculator, developer or large corporation buys a pub, it has the right to seek to do whatever it wishes with the site, when the community still wants and needs it
A Simple, Workable Solution to Give Pubs Protection
We want to see a better and stronger planning system that recognises the community value of pubs and stops pub closures where there is a purchaser willing to buy the pub at the market value of a pub and operate it as a pub. This is a very simple, workable principle that, if enshrined in law, could stem unnecessary pub closures, but without preventing closures where there really is no buyer for a pub. It gives every pub a chance.
We want to see a new planning system, where no historic (pre-1975) pub should be granted change of use, permission to develop demolish, where there is any individual, company or organisation who will pay the independently assessed market value of the pub, as a pub. We believe that the planning system must reflect this to prevent the ongoing predatory purchasing of our historic pubs, with so many viable and wanted pubs still being lost unnecessarily.
This would empower those tenant licensees who want to buy their pub from the property owner or pubco but are refused permission (or given a grossly excessive price) when the owner seeks to dispose of it or close it. It would also open up the pub sector more to the excellent thriving small brewing sector, the up and coming (and ethical) smaller pub-owning companies and to local entrepreneurs and communities. At the moment, the fact that it is often impossible or unrealistic for licensees and new pub operators to buy existing pubs leads to them having to open bars and micropubs in less suitable retail premises, often with basic facilities compared to buildings designed and built as pubs. By stopping the cynical predatory purchasing of pubs, and empowering those who wish to buy pubs to run them as pubs, we can allow many more operators to take on historic pub buildings and keep them thriving as pubs, rather than having to open new premises.
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