New figures show that the number of net pub closures stands at 29 per week, from the previous six month period.
The release of the figures coincide with a new clause to the Infrastructure Bill in England, recently tabled by a cross-party group of MPs, which would mean that planning permission is always required before demolishing or converting a pub into a supermarket, a convenience store or any other retail use.
CAMRA is pressing the Government to act now to save pubs in light of the latest figures. Tim Page, CAMRA chief executive, said: “It’s currently possible to covert a pub into a betting shop, pay-day loan store or supermarket without the need for planning permission, making it far too easy for pubs, valued by the community, to be lost without local people having a say. Given the huge contribution that pubs make to community life in Britain we believe this cannot be right.”
However, Brigid Simmonds, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive, said the figures did not accurately reflect “the increasing confidence we are now seeing in the pub sector, very much supported by Government action on beer duty, business rates and other measures introduced.”