Responding to the news that the Government has moved to protect community pubs twenty-four hours after voting against measures to safeguard pubs against demolition, the ALMR has reiterated its call for flexibility in the sector to allow pubs, bars and nightclubs to flourish.
An amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, which would have required planning consent before demolishing or changing the use of a pub, was defeated by 293 votes to 245. Today, the Community Pubs Minister, Kris Hopkins has announced similar protection for those pubs listed as Assets of Community Value.
ALMR Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls said: “The additional protection for pubs listed as Assets of Community Value is a sensible and pragmatic approach which will afford protection to those pubs that have already been identified as valuable, without tying up the whole market in red tape.
“The ALMR has long been vocal in its call for both national and local authorities to have regard for economic growth in both licensing and planning decisions. What we do not want is a scenario in which viable, economically beneficial pubs, bars and restaurants are being closed without opposition. Nor do we want to see vacant buildings being allowed to sit empty and unused.
“We echo the Minister’s comments today when he said that the best way to encourage growth in licensed hospitality is through lower taxes and less regulation. By cutting red tape, costs and burdens for pubs, clubs and restaurants, the Government can encourage growth in the sector, allowing businesses to prosper and become useful assets in their communities. The ALMR will continue to press for the promotion of a free, fair and flexible market that allows licensed hospitality businesses to flourish and negates the need for further closures and disputes.”