Tough guidelines on way to help save our pubs

Daily Echo: Councillor Simon Letts Councillor Simon Letts

TOUGH new guidelines will be introduced in a bid to save Southampton’s pubs.

Civic chiefs have voted to introduce a directive forcing any firm wanting to convert a pub to go through the planning process.

And with 28 pubs closing every week in the UK, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has renewed calls for councils to act as the last line of defence for threatened inns.

Current planning laws mean companies can convert pubs without having to submit a planning application.

But Labour council chiefs have decided to act after the closure of a number of pubs in the city in recent years.

Once-popular watering holes such as The Castle in Midanbury, The Anchor and Hope in Freemantle, The Bulls Eye in Sholing and The Woodman in Lord’s Wood have all become shops or takeaways.

They had asked the Government to change the law to stop pubs being converted without planning permission and community consultation, but the request was knocked back by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

They have however taken up one avenue that remained open to them.

A planning law known as an Article 4 Direction can ensure planning applications are required, although the Communities Secretary will still have powers to modify or cancel them.

The city council’s Cabinet has now voted to approve introducing the laws in a year’s time, which is required to allow affected firms time to respond.

Council leader Simon Letts said: “The idea is that change of use permission is required if anybody wants to change a local pub into a convenience store, and this ensures all of them will have to go through planning and put to residents.

“It is a welcome step as we have lost a substantial number of community pubs in the last three to five years and we do not want to see any more.

“This will give the council chance to debate them, rather than them going through like financial fait accompli.”

The change comes as CAMRA calls on more councils to introduce measures such as Article 4 Directions, and for the Government to allow councils to have more powers to block pub conversions.

CAMRA’s Tom Stainer said: “CAMRA is grateful to the councils who are leading the way in pub protection, but it is still too few, we want all councils to follow suit “Weak planning laws are a major contributing factor to pubs closing and central Government need to give councils greater powers so they can do more to protect pubs.

“At the moment ministers are letting down communities by allowing pubs to be demolished or converted to a whole range of retail uses without any planning permission being required.”

Comments (23)

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12:21pm Wed 9 Jul 14

aldermoorboy says...

Labour interfere negatively in business while ignoring pot holes etc.

If people drink at home instead of in pubs, nothing will change that. Let business proceed naturally and let the pub be used as a shop or houses etc.

Labour sort out your priorities and should not be pubs.
Labour interfere negatively in business while ignoring pot holes etc. If people drink at home instead of in pubs, nothing will change that. Let business proceed naturally and let the pub be used as a shop or houses etc. Labour sort out your priorities and should not be pubs. aldermoorboy
  • Score: -17

1:07pm Wed 9 Jul 14

100%HANTSBOY says...

Mr Letts, here's some news for you.....you're too fu#king late!
Mr Letts, here's some news for you.....you're too fu#king late! 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: 6

1:34pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Quentin Heslop says...

Typical hot air. What planning policy is in the local plans to base a refusal upon for any application received? It would be immediately turned over at appeal. Delaying the inevitable at best; accelerating the likelihood of closure before adopting directive at worst.
Typical hot air. What planning policy is in the local plans to base a refusal upon for any application received? It would be immediately turned over at appeal. Delaying the inevitable at best; accelerating the likelihood of closure before adopting directive at worst. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Wed 9 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this?

If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering?

If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely?
Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this? If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering? If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely? IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Wed 9 Jul 14

mikeyt says...

No wonder they are looking to make 200 civil servants redundant if they keep wasting money on this sort of nonsense.
No wonder they are looking to make 200 civil servants redundant if they keep wasting money on this sort of nonsense. mikeyt
  • Score: 2

1:57pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Dasal says...

"The Castle", "Woodman", "Anchor & Hope" & "Bulls Eye" ?
Don't know why CAMRA are so concerned.
As far as I know you couldn't get a decent pint of "real ale" in any of ' em.
"The Castle", "Woodman", "Anchor & Hope" & "Bulls Eye" ? Don't know why CAMRA are so concerned. As far as I know you couldn't get a decent pint of "real ale" in any of ' em. Dasal
  • Score: 17

2:03pm Wed 9 Jul 14

shirlski says...

The Smoking ban and cheap supermarket booze is why Pub's are dying on their arses. The type of person who would regularly go to their local every night would now rather stay at home with their budget 4 litres of rot-gut, fags from the Calais Megamarket and a thousand channels of crap Sky TV at their fingertips. Pubs will still close at a rate of knots, but now with this dopey idea they will just sit and rot into local eyesores.
The Smoking ban and cheap supermarket booze is why Pub's are dying on their arses. The type of person who would regularly go to their local every night would now rather stay at home with their budget 4 litres of rot-gut, fags from the Calais Megamarket and a thousand channels of crap Sky TV at their fingertips. Pubs will still close at a rate of knots, but now with this dopey idea they will just sit and rot into local eyesores. shirlski
  • Score: 15

2:16pm Wed 9 Jul 14

wwozzer says...

Who goes out to drink anymore anyway? People go out to eat nowadays, times have changed. Most pubs that realised this and geared up for it are doing well now.

if all you were offering was a range of crisps and pork scratchings like most of these ex pubs were then no wonder your punters disappeared and tesco came sniffing.
Who goes out to drink anymore anyway? People go out to eat nowadays, times have changed. Most pubs that realised this and geared up for it are doing well now. if all you were offering was a range of crisps and pork scratchings like most of these ex pubs were then no wonder your punters disappeared and tesco came sniffing. wwozzer
  • Score: 5

2:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

On the inside says...

EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG.
EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG. On the inside
  • Score: 10

2:59pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

Pity the pi55 artists of NuLabour are not showing same degree of comittment to saving Council services for the people and the jobs of Counci workers.
Pity the pi55 artists of NuLabour are not showing same degree of comittment to saving Council services for the people and the jobs of Counci workers. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 5

3:07pm Wed 9 Jul 14

IronLady2010 says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Pity the pi55 artists of NuLabour are not showing same degree of comittment to saving Council services for the people and the jobs of Counci workers.
Maybe they should be breathalised before making any decisions? lol
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Pity the pi55 artists of NuLabour are not showing same degree of comittment to saving Council services for the people and the jobs of Counci workers.[/p][/quote]Maybe they should be breathalised before making any decisions? lol IronLady2010
  • Score: -5

3:18pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Paramjit Bahia says...

IronLady2010 wrote:
Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this?

If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering?

If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely?
Don't want to give you heart attack, but agree with you that pubs are closing because these days many pubs get less customers than before.

Yes the pubs were important part of British life style but the drinking and socialising styles of society have changed.

Other problem is the greed of big firms who own many pubs. They are charging high rents which many local operators can't afford and can make more profit out of the increased property prices than selling drinks.

If implemented the decision of our councillors at its best can delay the change of use of former pubs, but they can't force those to stay in the same business.
[quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this? If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering? If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely?[/p][/quote]Don't want to give you heart attack, but agree with you that pubs are closing because these days many pubs get less customers than before. Yes the pubs were important part of British life style but the drinking and socialising styles of society have changed. Other problem is the greed of big firms who own many pubs. They are charging high rents which many local operators can't afford and can make more profit out of the increased property prices than selling drinks. If implemented the decision of our councillors at its best can delay the change of use of former pubs, but they can't force those to stay in the same business. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 10

3:35pm Wed 9 Jul 14

S!monOn says...

On the inside wrote:
EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG.
Ok... no need to shout. Thanks for the input and if we need more information, we'll know where to find you :)
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG.[/p][/quote]Ok... no need to shout. Thanks for the input and if we need more information, we'll know where to find you :) S!monOn
  • Score: 4

4:21pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Kirsty666 says...

The only so called pubs that work are the weatherspoons chain but they're all crap anyway
The only so called pubs that work are the weatherspoons chain but they're all crap anyway Kirsty666
  • Score: -4

5:43pm Wed 9 Jul 14

03alpe01 says...

Bet Tescos and McDonalds still find a way round it.
Bet Tescos and McDonalds still find a way round it. 03alpe01
  • Score: 5

6:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

oursin says...

Unbelievable that SCC would spend money on this, while cutting day services to the most vulnerable. What do they want? A load of boarded up pubs standing as monuments to the good old days when people other than boutique-beer lovers could afford to spend an evening in a pub?
Unbelievable that SCC would spend money on this, while cutting day services to the most vulnerable. What do they want? A load of boarded up pubs standing as monuments to the good old days when people other than boutique-beer lovers could afford to spend an evening in a pub? oursin
  • Score: 1

9:05pm Wed 9 Jul 14

elvisimo says...

Kirsty666 wrote:
The only so called pubs that work are the weatherspoons chain but they're all crap anyway
Visitor numbers and their turnover would suggest otherwise
[quote][p][bold]Kirsty666[/bold] wrote: The only so called pubs that work are the weatherspoons chain but they're all crap anyway[/p][/quote]Visitor numbers and their turnover would suggest otherwise elvisimo
  • Score: 1

10:50pm Wed 9 Jul 14

paraboy says...

when people are losing there jobs on the council they should be saving there jobs and sorting them out this will not win you votes
when people are losing there jobs on the council they should be saving there jobs and sorting them out this will not win you votes paraboy
  • Score: 0

11:54pm Wed 9 Jul 14

SNUGGLES 78 says...

all the pubs are gone !!!
all the pubs are gone !!! SNUGGLES 78
  • Score: 5

5:34am Thu 10 Jul 14

Wozzie says...

As soon as the government allowed the supermarkets to sell cheap alcohol the demise of pubs started. The councils and the government constantly moan about street drunkenness but they are the root cause of the availability of cheap booze being drunk in an unsupervised environment
As soon as the government allowed the supermarkets to sell cheap alcohol the demise of pubs started. The councils and the government constantly moan about street drunkenness but they are the root cause of the availability of cheap booze being drunk in an unsupervised environment Wozzie
  • Score: 1

10:10am Thu 10 Jul 14

Jesus_02 says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
IronLady2010 wrote: Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this? If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering? If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely?
Don't want to give you heart attack, but agree with you that pubs are closing because these days many pubs get less customers than before. Yes the pubs were important part of British life style but the drinking and socialising styles of society have changed. Other problem is the greed of big firms who own many pubs. They are charging high rents which many local operators can't afford and can make more profit out of the increased property prices than selling drinks. If implemented the decision of our councillors at its best can delay the change of use of former pubs, but they can't force those to stay in the same business.
Personally I agree with the move, and perhaps local authorities could go further

The Butchers Hook, and Dancing Man brewery have proved that pubs can actually work and that there is an appetite for the British public to use them.

Dancing Mans use of wool house became an emotive issue, because people claimed that there where already too many pubs. The question that should be asked is why didn’t Dancing Man set up business at the Bitterne Park Hotel. The truth is that pubs like the BP, the Bullseye and the Anchor are a shadow of what they used to be.

Large companies like Enterprise Inns own the future of historic buildings that have come to define the landscape of Suburban Britain. These buildings might not be archecturally significant on their own, but together with the streets that surround them they are.

Also they are worth a lot of money, because the cost of land is so obscene

These companies simply scim profit out of an industry that grew from small business people. Then when extensive profiteering results in the collapse of the business they sell it on for other use.

If it is not the business of local authorities to intervene when the fabric of the environment in which we live is under threat, what is their business?

Furthermore I believe that this should be a national issue. If it not the Governments mandate to ensure that small business’s and the community that they serve prosper then what is their business?
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]IronLady2010[/bold] wrote: Oh come on. How much Tax payers money has been wasted on time coming up with this? If a building changes from a Pub to a shop, it is no loss to the City so why are the Council interfering? If locals use the pubs they wouldn't close, surely?[/p][/quote]Don't want to give you heart attack, but agree with you that pubs are closing because these days many pubs get less customers than before. Yes the pubs were important part of British life style but the drinking and socialising styles of society have changed. Other problem is the greed of big firms who own many pubs. They are charging high rents which many local operators can't afford and can make more profit out of the increased property prices than selling drinks. If implemented the decision of our councillors at its best can delay the change of use of former pubs, but they can't force those to stay in the same business.[/p][/quote]Personally I agree with the move, and perhaps local authorities could go further The Butchers Hook, and Dancing Man brewery have proved that pubs can actually work and that there is an appetite for the British public to use them. Dancing Mans use of wool house became an emotive issue, because people claimed that there where already too many pubs. The question that should be asked is why didn’t Dancing Man set up business at the Bitterne Park Hotel. The truth is that pubs like the BP, the Bullseye and the Anchor are a shadow of what they used to be. Large companies like Enterprise Inns own the future of historic buildings that have come to define the landscape of Suburban Britain. These buildings might not be archecturally significant on their own, but together with the streets that surround them they are. Also they are worth a lot of money, because the cost of land is so obscene These companies simply scim profit out of an industry that grew from small business people. Then when extensive profiteering results in the collapse of the business they sell it on for other use. If it is not the business of local authorities to intervene when the fabric of the environment in which we live is under threat, what is their business? Furthermore I believe that this should be a national issue. If it not the Governments mandate to ensure that small business’s and the community that they serve prosper then what is their business? Jesus_02
  • Score: 2

10:37am Thu 10 Jul 14

Sammy2sheds says...

On the inside wrote:
EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG.
Except me
[quote][p][bold]On the inside[/bold] wrote: EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS POSTED HERE IS WRONG.[/p][/quote]Except me Sammy2sheds
  • Score: -1

5:21pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Dan Soton says...

,,

That's typical... The Government Announces licensees are now protected from unfair business ( sky-high rents and beer prices ) practices..


What's our time wasting, headline grabbing Cllr Simon Letts doing now all the hard works ( presumably Pubs are now less likely to foreclose ) been done ?..

Typical, Cllr Letts gives the Governments new protection scheme no mention and can't even wait to see how it pans out..



GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES PUB COMPANY REFORM: CAMRA CELEBRATE CAMPAIGN WIN!

Published on 3rd June 2014 by Claire Cain

Thousands of licensees will be protected from unfair business practices in the pub industry and our nation's pubs protected following today’s Government announcement which unveils plans for a Pubs Adjudicator and Statutory Code.

The long campaign road to reach this result has seen CAMRA contribute to three Business Select Committee investigations, two high profile Parliamentary debates, a Government consultation, an Office of Fair Trading Super Complaint and numerous rallies in Parliament.

In total 212 MPs signed up to support our campaign and debates with MPs such as Toby Perkins, Greg Mulholland and Heather Wheeler were held to promote reforms at the main Party Conferences.

Over the last decade many thousands of pubs have been lost as big pub companies have squeezed them out of existence with sky-high rents and beer prices. With 28 pubs closing a week it is vital that publicans, who are on the frontline of keeping our valued community pubs open, are given protection from heavy handed business practices from the big pubcos. The Government's introduction of a Pubs Adjudicator is another line of defence in protecting the nation’s pubs.

http://www.camra.org
.uk/article.php?grou
p_id=13935




,,
,, That's typical... The Government Announces licensees are now protected from unfair business ( sky-high rents and beer prices ) practices.. What's our time wasting, headline grabbing Cllr Simon Letts doing now all the hard works ( presumably Pubs are now less likely to foreclose ) been done ?.. Typical, Cllr Letts gives the Governments new protection scheme no mention and can't even wait to see how it pans out.. GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES PUB COMPANY REFORM: CAMRA CELEBRATE CAMPAIGN WIN! Published on 3rd June 2014 by Claire Cain Thousands of licensees will be protected from unfair business practices in the pub industry and our nation's pubs protected following today’s Government announcement which unveils plans for a Pubs Adjudicator and Statutory Code. The long campaign road to reach this result has seen CAMRA contribute to three Business Select Committee investigations, two high profile Parliamentary debates, a Government consultation, an Office of Fair Trading Super Complaint and numerous rallies in Parliament. In total 212 MPs signed up to support our campaign and debates with MPs such as Toby Perkins, Greg Mulholland and Heather Wheeler were held to promote reforms at the main Party Conferences. Over the last decade many thousands of pubs have been lost as big pub companies have squeezed them out of existence with sky-high rents and beer prices. With 28 pubs closing a week it is vital that publicans, who are on the frontline of keeping our valued community pubs open, are given protection from heavy handed business practices from the big pubcos. The Government's introduction of a Pubs Adjudicator is another line of defence in protecting the nation’s pubs. http://www.camra.org .uk/article.php?grou p_id=13935 ,, Dan Soton
  • Score: 0
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