Number of pubs being demolished or converted doubles in last quarter with Yorkshire locals also calling time
Official Government statistics have revealed that 230 pubs disappeared for good in the three months to June 30 as the impact of soaring costs and pressure on consumer budgets became more stark.
The data, which was compiled by commercial real estate specialists at Altus Group, showed a 50.3 per cent jump after 153 pubs vanished in the first quarter of 2023.
It means more than two pubs a day have left local communities over the first half of the year.
In Yorkshire alone this year, several planning applications have been made to demolish pubs to make way for retail and residential development.
For instance, The Rose and Crown at Golcar in Huddersfield was sold to a new owner who applied for planning permission to turn it into a small residential development and 200-year-old pub, The Albion at Greengates, near Bradford is set to be converted into four flats despite a campaign to save it.
Last week, Bradford Council agreed that The Cricketers at Keighley, a pub that dates back to the 1840s, could be demolished to make way for a multi-million pound Aldi supermarket and retail development, whilst a planning application has recently been submitted seeking permission to turn the Hare and Hounds at Heaton in Bradford into three shops with flats above.
It means a total 383 pubs were demolished or converted for other uses such as homes, offices or even day nurseries during the half-year.
It also represents a sharp acceleration year-on-year, with only 386 pubs vanishing throughout the whole of 2022.
Alex Probyn, president of property tax at Altus Group, called on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to act in his autumn statement in November to ease the pressure of significant business rates on the sector.
Currently, firms which pay business rates – the property tax affecting high street firms – will see an inflation-linked increase come next April, unless there is Government intervention.
This is expected to add more than six per cent to bills next year.
Mr Probyn said: “With energy costs up 80 per cent year-on-year in a low growth, high inflation and high interest rates environment, the last thing pubs need is an average business rates hike of £12,385 next year.”
Pubs, as with other eligible hospitality, leisure and retail businesses, currently get a 75 per cent discount off their business rates bills for the 2023/2024 tax year up to a cap of £110,000 per business but this is set to end on March 31 2024.