More powers urged to save pubs from axe

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COUNCILS AND local communities should always have a say before a pub is demolished or converted into another use, campaigners have claimed.

The Campaign for Real Ale claimed the number of pubs closing each week, currently 28, could be reduced if local authorities were given the power to block conversions.

Head of communications Tom Stainer warned the number of “trailblazing councils” leading the way in pub protection are “still too few”, and called on all authorities to follow suit, adding: “Pub closures are not as simple as a badly-run business or a changing marketplace, there are many external factors and pressures which have a bearing on pub survival.”

Councils are being urged to value the role pubs play by adopting strong protection policies in Local Plans, listing pubs as Assets of Community Value and ensuring planning permission is always required for change of use.