31 UK Pubs Closing Every Week
CAMRA campaigns for government to change “planning loophole” that has allowed two pubs a week to be turned into supermarkets
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) released figures that show pub closure rates have risen to 31 a week, with suburban areas being the worst affected – 3% of the nation’s suburban pubs have closed in just six months.
CAMRA’s report is part of their new ‘Pubs Matter’ campaign to urge the government to recognise the importance of pubs. The campaign wants to tackle “planning loopholes” to prevent bars being demolished or converted without permission – currently pubs can be converted into supermarkets, estate agents and a range of other uses with no planning permission necessary. An estimated two pubs a week being converted into supermarkets.
The research emphasised the importance of the local pub to the economy with over one million UK jobs supported by pubs and £80,000 for their local economy being generated by the industry each year. Furthermore pub culture is seen as an important staple in British life, with 75% of adults stating that pubs make a valuable contribution to life in the UK.
CAMRA are encouraging festival-goers at the Great British Beer Festival to lobby to their MP’s estate agents and other facilities – with. 44 MPs have already signed a Parliamentary Early Day Motion in support of changing the current law to end the loophole.
CAMRA’s head of communications, Tom Stainer, commented on the findings, stressing the need to change current planning laws to protect local businesses:
“Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control.
“It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store.”