Pub Protection & ACV's
We are currently losing pubs at the rate of 29 every week. This is terrible news not just for those of us who love pubs but also for lovers of real ale, cider or perry, as there's nowhere better to drink beer than in a pub. The good news is that active campaigning, by CAMRA and others, has saved many pubs from being lost forever.
An obvious way to help our campaigning efforts is to become active in your local CAMRA Branch. However, if that isn't possible for you, or it's just not something you wish to do, there are still many ways in which you can contribute.
Should you become aware of any kind of threat to a pub, please tell your local CAMRA Branch. The earlier they get to know about such things, the easier it is to take action.
Individual Pub Campaigns
Very often when a pub comes under threat, the locals will want to resist, usually forming some kind of action group. If this happens with a pub you use, even if not regularly, please get involved as they'll no doubt need all the help they can get. There's much advice and guidance at http://www.camra.org.uk/kc2-pub-protection so point them in that direction if they haven't yet found it.
Assets of Community Value
Even if your local isn't under any kind of obvious threat, it's well worth getting it registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). Should a pub with ACV status ever be put up for sale then a six-month moratorium kicks in during which time the local community can submit a bid to buy it themselves. At worst, this buys campaigning time. The Government has recently announced its intention to further protect ACV-listed pubs by requiring planning permission to be obtained before they can be demolished or converted to a shop, restaurant or office. Guidance on applying is at http://www.camra.org.uk/list-your-local-assets-of-community-value
CAMRA campaigns to change legislation in ways which are more favourable to pubs. Our major current campaign is called Pubs Matter – www.pubsmatter.org.uk – which seeks the strengthening of planning laws so that planning permission is always needed to demolish a pub or change it to a shop, restaurant or office. You can help by writing to your MP, asking them to support our campaign and to pressure Ministers accordingly.
Most planning decisions by Councils on the future of pubs are determined by reference to the policies in their Local Plans. CAMRA campaigns for all Councils to adopt policies which help protect pubs but many are still far too weak. You can help by checking your local Council's policies – and if they aren't helpful, asking the Council to consider beefing them up. The advice to Branches on doing this is equally applicable to individual members.
Planning Applications – Monitoring and Commenting
Many proposed developments affecting pubs will need planning permission – for instance, a change of use to residential. Branches are advised to check their local Council websites for relevant new planning applications and to submit comments on any applications seeking consent for unwanted developments. Individual members can also contribute to this process, in which case the advice to Branches tells you how to locate applications and how best to make objections.
Last But Not Least
We can all help pubs not just survive, but thrive, by using them regularly. Most CAMRA members will not, of course, find this a hardship but always remember – our pubs need you, so do your duty!