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Southwark to protect its pubs

Words: Laura Edgar

Southwark Council has issued an Article 4 Direction on all 188 pubs in the borough to protect them from permitted development rights.

Permitted development rights mean than pubs and offices can be demolished or have their use changed without going through the planning process.

The Article 4 direction means that any changes to pubs in Southwark will now have to go through the planning process, and the council – as well as the local community – will be able to have a say on any proposed changes.

Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: "We value the role local pubs play for our residents, and we know that many of them in the borough are well used and much loved by local people. As well as supporting local businesses and jobs, our pubs play a vital role in the heart of the communities they serve.

“This is why we felt it was important to make sure that the council and local community have a say when pubs are put forward for development, to help ensure that changing the use of pubs only happens in the right circumstances and in the right areas.”

In August last year, Wandsworth Council granted an Article 4 Direction on 120 pubs and bars in its remit.

Earlier this month (March), the House of Lords voted to protect pubs. An amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill removes permitted development rights relating to the change of use or demolition of pubs.

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