BEER campaigners have welcomed a House of Lords vote to close a planning loophole which allows pubs to be unfairly targeted by property developers.
Peers voted by a clear majority of 90 to support an amendment tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill.
The amendment sought to remove ‘permitted development rights’ from pubs.
Currently, a pub can be demolished or converted for other uses without a developer needing to submit a planning application.
The Campaign for Real Ale says this not only denies communities a say on their local’s future, but also makes pubs a ‘soft target’ for developers, which it believes has led to 21 pubs closing every week.
Welcoming the vote, Camra chairman Colin Valentine said: ‘There is a huge appetite for pub protection across the country.
‘At Camra we see thousands of campaigners across England and Wales fight tooth and nail in local campaigns to save their beloved pubs.
‘More than 5,000 people have contacted peers in the past two months to ask them to help protect their local pub through this legislation.
‘This shows us just how important this issue is to many local communities.
‘Pubs play a huge community role in villages, towns and high streets across the country yet can be lost overnight without the public having a say. We are delighted that peers have chosen to support this amendment and we hope the government will respond to the will of communities across the country.’
Lord Roy Kennedy added: ‘I am delighted that we have won this vote.’