Peers Vote to Protect Pubs

CAMRA welcomes a House of Lords vote today to close a planning loophole which allows pubs to be unfairly targeted by unruly property developers.

Lords voted by a clear majority of 90 to support an amendment tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill.

The amendment sought to remove ‘permitted development rights’ from pubs. Currently, a pub can be demolished or converted into a number of other uses without a developer needing to submit a planning application. This not only denies local communities a say on their beloved local’s future, but also makes pubs a ‘soft target’ for developers, leading to 21 pubs closing every week.

CAMRA members have been lobbying the House of Lords during the passage of the Bill to gain the support from Peers.
CAMRA Chairman, Colin Valentine, says: “There is a huge appetite for pub protection across the country. At CAMRA, we see thousands of campaigners across England and Wales fight tooth and nail in local campaigns to save their beloved pubs. Over 5,000 people have contacted Peers in the past two months to ask them to help protect their local pub through this legislation. This shows us just how important this issue is to many local communities.

“Pubs play a huge community role in villages, towns and high streets across the country yet can be lost overnight without the public having a say. We are delighted that Peers have chosen to support this amendment and we hope that the Government will respond to the will of communities across the country.”

Shadow Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government, Lord Roy Kennedy, added: “I am delighted that we have won this vote tonight. It is vital that we take the steps needed to protect our pubs so that they continue to be the heart and soul of communities. I look forward to continuing to work with CAMRA to ensure that this is a reality.”

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill will now go through Third Reading before returning to the House of Commons where MPs will vote on the Bill.