Over 200 pubs converted to convenience stores

The Hampshire Yeoman

The Hampshire Yeoman

First published in Business

More than 200 pubs have been converted to supermarket convenience stores over the past two years, ''ripping the hearts'' out of small communities, a new report revealed today.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) urged the Government to change planning laws which it said were allowing major supermarket chains and developers an ''easy route'' to demolishing or changing the use of pubs.

The campaign group said ''arcane'' planning law loopholes in England and Wales were rendering communities powerless in the fight to save their locals.

Since the beginning of 2010, a ''staggering'' 130 pubs have been converted into convenience stores by supermarket giant Tesco, and 22 by Sainsbury's, with a further 54 by other companies such as The Co-Operative, Asda and Costcutter, said Camra, with a further 45 pubs under threat of conversion across Britain.

Camra chief executive Mike Benner said: ''Weak and misguided planning laws and the predatory acquisition of valued pub sites by large supermarket chains, coupled with the willingness of pub owners to cash in and sell for development, are some of the biggest threats to the future of Britain's social fabric.

''For years, large supermarket chains have shown a disregard for the wellbeing of local communities, gutting much-loved former pubs in areas already bursting with supermarket stores.

''Pubs are being targeted for development by supermarket chains due to non-existent planning controls allowing supermarkets to ride roughshod over the wishes of the local community. At a time when 18 pubs are closing every week, this is damaging a great British institution.

''Unless action is taken by the Government to address obvious loopholes in planning legislation, more local communities will be forced to give up their local pub without a fight, and seeing the pub signs of Red Lions and Royal Oaks being corporately gratified over by supermarket empires will become an all too common sight.''

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said: ''Residents across the country are feeling powerless to intervene as local community pubs are being turned into convenience stores.

''Government needs to wake up to this looming crisis in the pub industry and look not only at planning laws that allow pubs to be converted so easily, but also at the cosy relationship between national retailers and large pub companies that so often leave local communities feeling left out in the cold.''

In his own constiuency, The Castle in Midanbury is being converted to a Tesco Express, as well as other Hampshire pubs including the Woodman in Lordswood and The Hampshire Yeoman Blackfield.

Comments (20)

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12:22pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sarfhamton says...

Outrage
Outrage sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Mon 19 Nov 12

southy says...

The big stores and corporations get massive discounts on business tax, per meter of space they cover, small business like the small family corner local shop do not get any.
Business Tax is like the Council tax how it is set up, the more land you take up the less you pay per meter of land, it should be the other way round so it gives the less weathy a chance against the corporations business.
The big stores and corporations get massive discounts on business tax, per meter of space they cover, small business like the small family corner local shop do not get any. Business Tax is like the Council tax how it is set up, the more land you take up the less you pay per meter of land, it should be the other way round so it gives the less weathy a chance against the corporations business. southy
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Ellwood says...

.................If the local community fails to patronise these Public Houses...then it ought to be considered that these establishments will cease to exist.

Shake any tree ...... Royal Oak or otherwise and the likely hood is that dead wood will be removed.
.................If the local community fails to patronise these Public Houses...then it ought to be considered that these establishments will cease to exist. Shake any tree ...... Royal Oak or otherwise and the likely hood is that dead wood will be removed. Ellwood
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Mon 19 Nov 12

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Prices / Drink drive / No smoking
Wonder WHY ! pubs are closing .. Rather Tesco express than vandalised eye sores .
Prices / Drink drive / No smoking Wonder WHY ! pubs are closing .. Rather Tesco express than vandalised eye sores . SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Mon 19 Nov 12

burgerboy says...

One of the main reasons that people are not using pubs with or
without eating facilities any longer is the smoking ban,Although i gave up smoking over a year ago,i have not stepped foot inside a pub since the ban came into effect which must be about 3 years ago.
The pubs only have themselves to blame for not objecting to this law at the time.
One of the main reasons that people are not using pubs with or without eating facilities any longer is the smoking ban,Although i gave up smoking over a year ago,i have not stepped foot inside a pub since the ban came into effect which must be about 3 years ago. The pubs only have themselves to blame for not objecting to this law at the time. burgerboy
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sparkster says...

I agree, i think the smoking ban in pubs plus supermarkets sell alcohol, people can drink and smoke as much as they want in their homes, it is sad to see the likes of the Hampshire Yeoman and the Croft in Hythe going, the Croft is a lovely homely pub, i used to frequent the Croft when i lived that side of the water
I agree, i think the smoking ban in pubs plus supermarkets sell alcohol, people can drink and smoke as much as they want in their homes, it is sad to see the likes of the Hampshire Yeoman and the Croft in Hythe going, the Croft is a lovely homely pub, i used to frequent the Croft when i lived that side of the water sparkster
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Mon 19 Nov 12

st1halo says...

I find it laughable that Denham is so vocal about it when it's he and his government that did more to destroy the pub industry in the first place.
It's about time the House of Commons' bar was closed down and replaced by a Tesco, see how they like it!
I find it laughable that Denham is so vocal about it when it's he and his government that did more to destroy the pub industry in the first place. It's about time the House of Commons' bar was closed down and replaced by a Tesco, see how they like it! st1halo
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Mon 19 Nov 12

st1halo says...

burgerboy wrote:
One of the main reasons that people are not using pubs with or
without eating facilities any longer is the smoking ban,Although i gave up smoking over a year ago,i have not stepped foot inside a pub since the ban came into effect which must be about 3 years ago.
The pubs only have themselves to blame for not objecting to this law at the time.
They did object and strongly but to no avail.
The governments always knows best, they always come up with policies that are based on some percieved high moral standing and never stop to think about the impact it has on the communities we live in. They exceed their remit and are quite happy to do so
[quote][p][bold]burgerboy[/bold] wrote: One of the main reasons that people are not using pubs with or without eating facilities any longer is the smoking ban,Although i gave up smoking over a year ago,i have not stepped foot inside a pub since the ban came into effect which must be about 3 years ago. The pubs only have themselves to blame for not objecting to this law at the time.[/p][/quote]They did object and strongly but to no avail. The governments always knows best, they always come up with policies that are based on some percieved high moral standing and never stop to think about the impact it has on the communities we live in. They exceed their remit and are quite happy to do so st1halo
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Mon 19 Nov 12

VIVERS says...

SPIKEISLANDTRADER wrote:
Prices / Drink drive / No smoking
Wonder WHY ! pubs are closing .. Rather Tesco express than vandalised eye sores .
hear hear
[quote][p][bold]SPIKEISLANDTRADER[/bold] wrote: Prices / Drink drive / No smoking Wonder WHY ! pubs are closing .. Rather Tesco express than vandalised eye sores .[/p][/quote]hear hear VIVERS
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Mon 19 Nov 12

ohec says...

If we returned to the old licensing laws it would solve a great deal of societies problems, only off licences and pubs should sell alcohol and the only thing that should be available in supermarkets is dinner wine, that would stop people getting tanked up before they go out. All clubs etc should be closed by 1am and then we wouldn't need half our police force on duty at night, it would also increase productivity as you can't be out clubbing half the night and be at your best for work the following day, i agree the two biggest reasons for the demise of our pubs is the smoking ban and to some extent the drink driving laws, the drink driving law i agree with but i see no reason why you can't have smoking and non smoking pubs.
If we returned to the old licensing laws it would solve a great deal of societies problems, only off licences and pubs should sell alcohol and the only thing that should be available in supermarkets is dinner wine, that would stop people getting tanked up before they go out. All clubs etc should be closed by 1am and then we wouldn't need half our police force on duty at night, it would also increase productivity as you can't be out clubbing half the night and be at your best for work the following day, i agree the two biggest reasons for the demise of our pubs is the smoking ban and to some extent the drink driving laws, the drink driving law i agree with but i see no reason why you can't have smoking and non smoking pubs. ohec
  • Score: 0

5:17pm Mon 19 Nov 12

sarfhamton says...

I think that the end of the Meat Draw is to blame
I think that the end of the Meat Draw is to blame sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

5:37pm Mon 19 Nov 12

bigfella777 says...

If people went to pubs they wouldnt close down, it's not the stores fault.
Nice pubs dont close down, just the ones that let all the riff raff in that drive decent people away.
If people went to pubs they wouldnt close down, it's not the stores fault. Nice pubs dont close down, just the ones that let all the riff raff in that drive decent people away. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Mon 19 Nov 12

8089 says...

st1halo wrote:
I find it laughable that Denham is so vocal about it when it's he and his government that did more to destroy the pub industry in the first place.
It's about time the House of Commons' bar was closed down and replaced by a Tesco, see how they like it!
....And don't forget Lord Sainsbury was a major financial contributor to the Labour party and 'Mr Tesco' Terry Leahy was Gordon Brown's business advisor .....'Every little helps'....To destroy the small retailers!! You can't close the stable door after the horse has bolted, Denham!
[quote][p][bold]st1halo[/bold] wrote: I find it laughable that Denham is so vocal about it when it's he and his government that did more to destroy the pub industry in the first place. It's about time the House of Commons' bar was closed down and replaced by a Tesco, see how they like it![/p][/quote]....And don't forget Lord Sainsbury was a major financial contributor to the Labour party and 'Mr Tesco' Terry Leahy was Gordon Brown's business advisor .....'Every little helps'....To destroy the small retailers!! You can't close the stable door after the horse has bolted, Denham! 8089
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Mon 19 Nov 12

skin2000 says...

It's odd that one of the reasons why pubs are closing, is that it is impossible for them to compete against supermarkets, because they use non vatable food, to subsidize cheap alcohol. Pubs and restaurants have to charge Vat at 20% .As a lot of pubs are owned by Zombie companies such as Punch Taverns, they have to sale these pubs of to service their huge debt. This is where supermarkets come in again, they buy these pubs and turn them into shops like Tesco's Express..........
If the interest rates should ever ever rise, companies like Punch might have to fire sale more pubs just to survive....Tesco's will then jump in again, buying up more and more of these pubs...thus killing off independent village shops.....
In the end we will have no pubs and no competition.
The coalition need to act now, so pubs can compete on a level playing field.
It's odd that one of the reasons why pubs are closing, is that it is impossible for them to compete against supermarkets, because they use non vatable food, to subsidize cheap alcohol. Pubs and restaurants have to charge Vat at 20% .As a lot of pubs are owned by Zombie companies such as Punch Taverns, they have to sale these pubs of to service their huge debt. This is where supermarkets come in again, they buy these pubs and turn them into shops like Tesco's Express.......... If the interest rates should ever ever rise, companies like Punch might have to fire sale more pubs just to survive....Tesco's will then jump in again, buying up more and more of these pubs...thus killing off independent village shops..... In the end we will have no pubs and no competition. The coalition need to act now, so pubs can compete on a level playing field. skin2000
  • Score: 0

9:42am Tue 20 Nov 12

spotburst says...

I'm sure that the sad day will come when there are no pubs. Just Tescos convenience stores etc. Then 'some' bunch of 'brainstorming board directors' will come up with a novel plan to branch out to turn sections of the stores into (gasp) pubs! With the cheapest of cheap alcohol distributed from their very own supermarkets! What a great idea - and they'll all look the same too.
Triples all round.
I'm sure that the sad day will come when there are no pubs. Just Tescos convenience stores etc. Then 'some' bunch of 'brainstorming board directors' will come up with a novel plan to branch out to turn sections of the stores into (gasp) pubs! With the cheapest of cheap alcohol distributed from their very own supermarkets! What a great idea - and they'll all look the same too. Triples all round. spotburst
  • Score: 0

9:46am Tue 20 Nov 12

spotburst says...

BTW - there'll be no 'level playing fields' for pubs when the playing fields themselves are all sold off (for much needed profits oops I mean flats)
BTW - there'll be no 'level playing fields' for pubs when the playing fields themselves are all sold off (for much needed profits oops I mean flats) spotburst
  • Score: 0

9:46am Tue 20 Nov 12

AndyAndrews says...

My wife and I only go to pubs for meals out, a couple of times a week, so if pubs want to stay open you know what you have to do.
My wife and I only go to pubs for meals out, a couple of times a week, so if pubs want to stay open you know what you have to do. AndyAndrews
  • Score: 0

10:15am Tue 20 Nov 12

huckit P says...

Decent pubs have been killed off by the ever-increasing installation of TV's to screen sports (or whatever) at full volume - killing off any hope of conversation. The smoking ban has improved the conditions inside bars and restaurants, making it much more pleasant for the majority. The next nail being driven into the coffin that is your local pub is the insidious invasion of "plastic" beer - you know the sort - the extra cold or extra smooth stuff which tastes nothing like the one it replaced. And don't get me started about the cost of a round!!!
Decent pubs have been killed off by the ever-increasing installation of TV's to screen sports (or whatever) at full volume - killing off any hope of conversation. The smoking ban has improved the conditions inside bars and restaurants, making it much more pleasant for the majority. The next nail being driven into the coffin that is your local pub is the insidious invasion of "plastic" beer - you know the sort - the extra cold or extra smooth stuff which tastes nothing like the one it replaced. And don't get me started about the cost of a round!!! huckit P
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Tue 20 Nov 12

elvisimo says...

Pubs only close if they are not profitable or if the landlord sees a higher value as an alternative use.

The past and current government have made the situation much worse for landlords and licesees with the beer escalator - tax increases at a rate of 2% above inflation.

It is not the supermarkets fault it is the governments -although they stay remarkably quiet on this point.
Pubs only close if they are not profitable or if the landlord sees a higher value as an alternative use. The past and current government have made the situation much worse for landlords and licesees with the beer escalator - tax increases at a rate of 2% above inflation. It is not the supermarkets fault it is the governments -although they stay remarkably quiet on this point. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

12:22pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kingnotail says...

Got to move with the times. People want more than Real Ale and crap food.
Got to move with the times. People want more than Real Ale and crap food. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

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