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the Great British pub – an asset of community value

18 March 2015

New rules will make it harder for retailers in England to convert pubs into retail space.

Currently, such a change of use does not generally require an express planning permission. That will change from 6 April where the pub is listed by the local authority as an asset of community value, i.e. it is a property whose use furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community (and it is realistic to think that such a use can continue in the future).

Even if a pub is not listed, a retailer will not be able to proceed without first asking the local authority in writing whether the pub has been nominated for listing. The retailer must then wait for 56 days and must complete the change of use within a year. Further provisions then apply if a nomination is received by the local authority.

Good news indeed for those wishing to preserve the pub as a British institution, but potentially bad news for retailers!

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