Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Nigel Adams MP to introduce Bill to give pubs greater planning protection

- Selby and Ainsty MP to use Protection of Local Services (Planning) Bill to give English councils the power to close loopholes in planning law

- New Bill has potential to ‘empower local communities’ threatened with loss of local pub

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale has today strongly supported moves by a Conservative MP to bring forward a Bill to help protect valued community pubs and other local services. This is an issue that CAMRA has been campaigning on since early 2009, and was a central proposal of their Beer Drinkers and Pub Goers Charter which has the support of over 150 MPs in Parliament.

Nigel Adams, new Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty was recently selected by a ballot in Parliament to bring forward legislation on a subject of his choice. He had decided to use this opportunity to give local services such as pubs greater protection from demolition or change of use.

His Protection of Local Services (Planning) Bill will give local councils in England the power to close loopholes in planning law which allow local services such as pubs, post offices, local shops and community centres to be demolished without the need to seek planning permission. It could also be used to protect pubs in particular which can be turned into cafes, restaurants or financial services offices without giving communities a say.

Mr Adams said:

‘For too long, community buildings have been able to be demolished despite the wishes of local people. It is crucial that we stand up for them.’

Nigel’s decision to bring this Bill forward has been strongly supported by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. Mike Benner, CAMRA’s Chief Executive said:

‘This Bill will empower local communities and offer a much-needed lifeline to community pubs and other local services. Pubs are in crisis, with 39 closing every single week. A third of these pubs are then demolished without giving local communities a chance to save them. Both councils and communities are powerless to act as valued and viable pubs are destroyed.’