High street pubs could be lost for good unless Government thinks again, warns CAMRA
Thousands of drinkers and pub-goers are calling on MPs to protect high street pubs from being lost to their communities forever through conversion to other uses.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is leveraging its 150,000-strong membership to ensure that the planning protection won for pubs in 2017 won’t be undone by the Government’s latest levelling up proposals.
Members are writing to their MPs, letting them know that Government proposals for ‘High Street Rental Auctions’ cannot go ahead in their current format, and asking MPs to take action. CAMRA won landmark protection for pubs just five years ago, with the removal of permitted development rights that had let developers convert or demolish pubs without giving communities their say through the planning process.
High Street Rental Auction proposals are currently under consultation with the aim of rejuvenating highstreets by letting Councils auction leases for a range of vacant property types, but these proposals miss the mark by reintroducing permitted development rights that would see pubs converted, divided up into multiple units, or gutted of fittings without the need for planning permission.
The e-lobby campaign follows a letter sent to Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison MP by CAMRA National Chairman, Nik Antona, asking the Government to think again about removing pub protections with High Street Rental Auctions.
Commenting, Nik Antona said: “Last week the Government opened the latest round for bids to the Community Ownership Fund, while at the same time, consulting on taking planning protection away from the kinds of venues that so many communities are working to save.
“It’s vital that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which is responsible for both the Community Ownership Fund and High Street Rental Auctions, takes a more joined-up approach to legislation surrounding the trade, and offers meaningful change that empowers communities to support, or even run, their locals.
“I urge everyone to contact their MP and ask them to stand up for high street pubs.”
Notes to editors:
Full details of the campaign and a link to the e-lobby are available at http://camra.org.uk/saveourpubs