CAMRA urges Mayor of London to protect pubs from closure
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has submitted its report into the extent of pub closures in London to Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to campaign for greater protection for pubs from closures.
Within London alone, 90 pubs are closing each year. CAMRA raises the difficulties pubs face, which includes the problems of legal loopholes that have allowed pubs to be converted into supermarkets, coffee shops and betting shops without planning consent. In the 6 month period between April and September of 2013, 28 pubs were shut as a result of these loopholes.
The report follows work within the public consultation of Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP), in which CAMRA took the opportunity to raise the importance of public houses within communities and to campaign for greater protection from forced closure of pubs.
CAMRA'a Regional Director for Greater London, Geoff Strawbridge stated: "While we welcome the added recognition of pubs within the draft further alterations to the London Plan, London property prices make pubs especially vulnerable to speculative purchase for alternative site uses. Given the vital and unique role that pubs play within our communities, the demolition or change of use of any pub should now be subject to planning controls."
CAMRA is pressing for residents' opinion to be taken into account if a change of use of a pub is proposed and to be able to refuse such a change of use if the pub has been recognised as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
To take part in helping to fight off pub closure, join CAMRA's Pub Protection Seminar, a free event for those interested in protecting pubs that are important to culture and the community within the capital.
The seminar takes place at The Melton Mowbray pub, Holborn on Saturday 31st May.