Jesse Norman has put his firm backing behind Government plans to tighten up planning rules relating to community pubs.
Under existing rules, pubs may be converted into supermarkets and to other uses without a full planning application.
In Hereford alone, the Gamecock, the Buckingham, the Moorfields and the Salmon are just some of the pubs that have all been lost in recent years and a number of others, including the Broadleys and the Nell Gwynne, are under threat. The new rules, which the Government has said will be brought in ‘at the earliest opportunity’ will mean that it is only possible to demolish or change the use of a pub after a full planning application. This will apply to pubs that are designated as ‘assets of community value’ by the local community. Designating a pub as an asset of community value is designed to be a straightforward process, and local authorities will be instructed to take such listings into account when making planning decisions.
Commenting on the announcement, Jesse said: “There has been huge concern locally about a number of pub closures and I well recall joining local residents in campaigning against the closure of the Gamecock, which was turned into a Tesco in 2011. I am delighted that the Government is at last acting to give communities the powers they need and deserve.
“The important thing now is to make sure that these rules will be brought in as soon as possible, and I have written to the Minister to urge him to do just that.”
Any local communities that are interested in registering their pub as an asset of community value are encouraged to contact Jesse at firstname.lastname@example.org
The full statement to parliament can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/community-pubs