A campaign has been launched in the UK by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) imploring the government to tighten a legal loophole which allows pubs to be knocked down and replaced by supermarkets without planning permission.
The rate of closure stands at 31 per week, having risen from 26 in March 2013, and 28 as of December 2013.
In the past six months alone 3 per cent of the the UK’s suburban pubs have gone under the hammer.
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CAMRA has created the Pubs Matter campaign which calls on the 55,000 visitors who will be present at this week’s Great British Beer Festival to pressure their MPs to effect legal change.
Tom Stainer, CAMRA head of communications, said: “Popular and profitable pubs are being left vulnerable by gaps in English planning legislation as pubs are increasingly being targeted by those wishing to take advantage of the absence of proper planning control. It is utterly perverse that developers are able to demolish or convert a pub into a convenience store or many other uses without any requirement to apply for planning permission. A pub is an entirely different proposition to a convenience store, estate agent or funeral directors and the planning system needs updating to reflect this fact. It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store.”