Community groups across England have come together to list their local pubs as community assets in order to protect them from redevelopment.
Last year the Government announced that pubs that have been designated as Assets of Community Value (ACV) would get stronger planning protection. Without ACV status, a pub can be demolished or converted into other uses – including small supermarkets, betting shops or estate agents – without planning permission and community consultation. Some 27 pubs close every week.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) acts as the independent voice for pub-goers. It has campaigned strongly for more protection for local pubs. CAMRA's Chief Executive Tim Page said: "It is fantastic to see so many community groups empowered to take action to save their beloved pub. However with 27 pubs closing every week there is still more work to be done.
“Registering a pub as an ACV is the first step to saving it from this fate. We would like to see more community groups come together to save their local and for the Government extend planning permission to all pubs, regardless of ACV status."
The full list of pubs listed as ACVs is available on the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) website.
ACVs were introduced as part of the 2011 Localism Act to empower local communities to protect valued community assets. Buildings or land can be listed as an asset of community value if current, recent or possible future use of the asset furthers the social well-being or social interests of the local community.
Once an ACV is registered with the local Council, local communities also have the opportunity to bid to buy the asset. Recent years have seen a big increase in community-owned pubs, with around 70 currently in operation. Over two hundred communities have bought their village shop.
CAMRA says community ownership gives people the opportunity to work at a grassroots level and provide a facility that reflects the wants and needs of local people, protecting valued assets for generations to come.