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The protection of pubs is backed by Lords

by Paul Addison on March 13, 2017 No comments

It has been voted for in the House of Lords to amend the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, to result in the removal of permitted development rights relating to the change of use or demolition of pubs in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill.

An amendment looking to ensure communities have a say over what happens to pubs has been withdrawn following the committee stage for the bill.

There was a tight vote in the House of Lords on 28 February when the session took place, in which the house wanted to clarify whether the government plans to restrict the capacity of local authorities to put into force relevant conditions.

Amendment 35 was nominated by Lord Kennedy of Southwark, saying its “simple in its effect”.

It was looked to amend the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which would result in the further protection for pubs.

The amendment is as follows:

“The secretary of state must exercise the powers conferred by sections 59, 60, 61, 74 and 333(7) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to remove permitted development rights relating to the change of use or demolition of “drinking establishments”.

Permitted development rights permit he change of use or demolition of pubs, without having to go through the planning process.

Lord Kennedy had the following to say:

 “The effect is that the people in the local community are prevented from having a say over their local pub,”

The community value scheme, which was introduced under the Coalition government, was referred to.

Kennedy has said that although this has meant the removal of permitted development rights for listed pubs has been lifted, it has come with unplanned consequences, for example, the cost placed on local authorities and the community.

He explained that the amendment;

“will lead to fewer pubs needing to be registered under the scheme. It will put them on a level footing with other businesses so that a developer, looking to convert a pub for whatever reason, would have to go through the normal planning application process. […] My amendment gives the local community a proper say in the sort of development it wants in its area and will stop local assets being lost for ever with local people having no say.”

Both Lord Swinfen and Lord Scriven has said they support the “thrust” of what Kennedy said.

Lord Shipley on the other hand has said the change is “simply a minor amendment”.

The parliamentary under-secretary of state, Department for Communities and Local Government and Wales Office, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, noted that the current arrangements “already provide protections for pubs that are valued by the community”, with permitted development rights removed from assets of community value.

While the government acknowledged the intent of amendment 35 and several supporting amendments, Bourne has said that he and the government “cannot support them as such”.

Bourne had the following to say:

 “I believe that there is scope for improvement in the assets of community value area. I am pleased therefore to be able to offer – as an alternative to pushing this to a vote – that the government will undertake an open and transparent review of the current arrangements in respect of assets of community value and the planning regime for pubs, including looking at permitted development rights,”

Bourne had asked Kennedy to withdraw his amendment, however it was decided by Kennedy to put it to a vote.

Amendment 35 was agreed, 278 to 188.

Colin Valentine, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman, had the following to say:

“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 that the Government will respond to the will of communities across the country.”

The following amendments were agreed:

  • 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 50A, 50B 50C, 51, 52, 53, ,54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 61A, 62, 63, 64, 68, 70,72, 73, 74, 76 and 77.

The following amendments were not moved:

  • 36, 39, 40, 59, 60, 66, 67, 71 and 75.

The following amendments were withdrawn:

  • 38, 38A, 38B and 65.

The following amendments were withdrawn from the Marshalled List:

  • 37, 44, 46, 61 and 69.

A third reading will now be gone through by the Neighbourhood Planning Bill, before returning to the House of Commons, where MPs will then be voting on the bill.

For more information, call us on 01342 890010 or email info@dev-assist.co.uk

 

Paul AddisonThe protection of pubs is backed by Lords

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