York Green Party

Green success on move to save pubs

12 December 2014

The City of York Council voted last night (11 December) to support a motion that would mean pubs cannot be converted into supermarkets without local consultation.

The motion[1], proposed by Green Councillor Andy D'Agorne, calls on Cabinet to require planning permission when developers want to demolish or convert pubs for another use. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has evidence that two pubs a week are converted to supermarkets. Under current legislation, planning loopholes can mean that local residents get no say in what happens to these key social assets.

The Punch Bowl in the Groves is an urgent priority as discussions are underway about its future. If Cabinet introduce the so-called Article 4 exemption quickly, a planning application would be needed before the pub could be converted into a supermarket, knocked down, or undergo any other change of use.

"I'm delighted that the motion was passed," said Andy D'Agorne. "The Green Party fights hard for the rights of local people to be represented in decisions that will directly affect their community. The Council agreed that it's also important to provide advice to local groups on how they can register pubs as a community asset worth protecting."


 1 - The text of the motion that was passed was as follows:

"Council notes with concern the growing number of local pubs that are closing and being threatened with conversion to supermarkets, in some cases without the opportunity for the local community to have a say in the process. Council further notes the support of local MP's Hugh Bayley and Julian Sturdy and supports the intent of Early Day Motion 208,

"That this House believes that permitted development rights are leaving pubs in England vulnerable to demolition or conversion to a range of retail uses without planning permission; further believes, in light of evidence from the Campaign for Real Ale, that two pubs a week are converted to supermarkets, and that these planning loopholes are contributing to the loss of valued community amenities; is concerned that local people are being denied a say in the future of their neighbourhoods; and so urges the Government to bring forward amendments to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 so that any demolition or change of use involving the loss of a pub would require planning permission."

In the short term, in order to provide local accountability, Council calls on Cabinet to follow the example of other councils by swiftly introducing an Article 4 exemption to GPDO 1995 so as to require application for planning permission for such change of use within the boundary of the City of York, starting with the Punch Bowl in the Groves as an urgent priority.

In addition Council supports the provision of advice to local groups on how to register their local pub as a 'community asset', identifying key social assets in local communities that need to be protected."

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