Photo: The Sandgrounder (Lord Street, Southport)
A national celebration day will be held on 23 March for the hundreds of pubs listed as assets of community value.
Ministers have called on people across the country to ‘list their local’ so pubs which play a crucial role at the heart of our communities can enjoy even greater protection and remain a social hub for future generations to come.
A national celebration day will be held on 23 March to raise a glass to the success of hundreds of pubs already listed as assets of community value by local people.
Community Pubs Minister Kris Hopkins has written to the landlords of all listed locals asking them to take part in this day of celebration. He is now urging other people across the country to consider listing their local to give it this additional protection.
Due to the passion demonstrated for pubs, ministers are in the process of changing the law to give communities a say in the planning process when changes are proposed to the use of their listed locals.
The department is currently producing a ‘community asset certificate’ which will be made available to every listed local to hang behind the bar, giving landlords the chance to celebrate the fact their pub is prized so highly by those who matter the most, the patrons.
Kris Hopkins said:
A lot of hard work has been put in by communities up and down the land to protect their beloved pubs from sell-off and I believe many more could be afforded this protection, which is why we are calling on people to consider whether they might want to list their local.
The Great British pub is a national treasure which is why we are determined to protect it. I am delighted this government’s action is providing even greater protection for local pubs and giving communities more of a say in their preservation and look forward to toasting this success on community pubs day.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
Community rights are a local revolution – equipping local people with the tools they need to have a real say in how their communities are run. This government doesn’t do things by half measures and by listing local pubs as community assets regulars can prevent developers calling time on their much-loved local.
Community Rights are a set of powers which give local people more control over their communities. They can help local communities save local shops, pubs, libraries, parks and football grounds.
Community Rights can help decide what is built, what it looks like and how local areas should develop. Groups also have the chance to deliver local services and develop them into community enterprises.
The Community Right to Bid, which came into effect on 21 September 2012, gives community groups a fairer chance to prepare and bid to buy community buildings and facilities that are important to them.
Communities can nominate any local building or land they love as an ‘asset of community value’ and then, if it comes up for sale, they have 6 months to raise the funds to buy it.
The Community Right to Bid gives communities a fairer chance to bid to take over local assets of community value, including pubs.
This government has funded a £19 million support programme to help eligible community organisations to take on the community ownership and management of assets that are important to them, including pubs.
According to the Campaign for Real Ale, over 600 pubs have so far been listed as community assets.
What we are proposing
National permitted development rights are an important part of the planning system; providing flexibility, reducing bureaucracy and allowing the best use to be made of existing buildings.
However, the passion for community pubs as demonstrated by the significant numbers listed as assets of community value highlights the need to enable local communities to consider planning applications for the change of use of a pub of particular local value.
We therefore plan to bring forward secondary legislation at the earliest opportunity so that in England the listing of a pub as an asset of community value will trigger a temporary disapplication of the national permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition of those pubs that communities have identified as providing the most community benefit.
This will mean that in future where a pub is listed as an asset of community value, a planning application will be required for the change of use or demolition of a pub.
This then provides an opportunity for local people to comment, and enables the local planning authority to determine the application in accordance with its local plan, any neighbourhood plan, and national policy.
The local planning authority may take the listing into account as a material consideration when determining any planning application.
Supporting community pubs
We are providing £250,000 to Pub is the Hub and the Plunkett Foundation over 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015 to help pubs to provide a wide range of community-focussed services and facilities and to help local residents buy and run co-operative pubs.
The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that to deliver the social, recreational and cultural facilities that communities need, planning policies and decisions should provide for the use of such facilities, including pubs, and guard against their unnecessary loss.
We are assisting firms with business rates: the Localism Act helps make small business rate relief easier to claim; we have doubled small business rate relief scheme from October 2010 to March 2016; and we have given councils powers to levy discretionary business rate discounts which could, for example, be used to support local community pubs.
A further centrally-funded business rate discount for pubs (and restaurants and shops) has been introduced worth £1,000 in 2014 to 2015 and £1,500 in 2015 to 2016 for premises with rateable values of up to £50,000.
The government has scrapped the last administration’s plans for a 10% rise in cider duties (the so-called cider tax).
We have cut duty on beer by 1 penny, and scrapped the beer duty escalator which would have further increased beer duty every year. As of March 2014, beer is 8 pence a pint cheaper as a result.
Pubs have benefited from the greater flexibility on weights and measures, allowing beer and wine to be sold in different sizes than was previously allowed by regulations.
We are supporting landlords leasing their pubs from pub companies through the introduction of a statutory code of practice to govern the relationship between pub-owning companies and their tied tenants, with an independent adjudicator to enforce the code.
The Live Music Act 2012 has made it easier for pubs to play live music.
We are tackling unfair competition and loss-leading of alcohol by some retailers, without adversely affecting the price of a pint in a pub.
As part of the ‘focus on enforcement of regulation’ initiative launched in July 2012, we have sought to reduce over-zealous regulation of pubs.
New guidance issue by the CCTV Commissioner has sought to stop the blanket imposition of CCTV in all pubs, irrespective of how well they are run.
Pubs are among the businesses which have benefited from our exemption of unnecessary health and safety inspections.
Changes in corporation tax and national insurance (abolishing National Insurance contributions for under-21s earning less than £813 per week from April 2015, and making it cheaper to employ people on incomes below £21,000) will benefit the pubs sector, which employs large numbers of young people.
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