We’ve just had the following letter by email from the campaign unlockdemocracy.org
We’d be interested to know what our readers think about this – and especially if councillors from other parties would support it too.
Dear Councillor Black
Local pubs are in serious decline. Twenty-six pubs close every week across the country.
In many instances, valued community pubs are converted into other uses such as betting shops and pay-day loan stores or are demolished, without planning permission being required. This means that local communities and the councils that represent them have no say before local pubs are lost to the local area forever.
We are therefore asking if you could please put forward a motion for your next Council meeting resolving to submit the following proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act:
“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.”
Below is a suggested motion you could use for convenience.
Pubs inject an average of £80,000 into their local economy each year and support almost one million UK jobs, 46% of whom are 16 – 24 year olds. They are a vital part of local economies.
The demolition of pubs is classed as “permitted development” meaning planning permission is not required. Between 2003 and 2012, 414 former pubs were demolished in London alone.
The Sustainable Communities Act is an ideal tool to use to deal with this problem. If lots of councils jointly submit this proposal to government under the Act, it will put significant pressure on government to make the necessary changes to the planning system.
I should be grateful if you could please let me know if you do put forward a motion to your Council on this.