I am passionate about pubs, not least because I used to work in the business. I know that pubs are at the heart of the community, or, as we used to say, "the pub is the hub".
I am encouraging local parish councils to register their pubs as "assets of community value". This is important in giving the local community a greater stake in the future of these assets. Listing means that, should a pub be put up for sale, the local community has six weeks (the interim moratorium period) to give notice that they intend to try to put together a bid for the property. If they do so, this triggers the full 6 month moratorium period, in which the community can try to raise a bid for the property. The pub cannot be sold before that point. There is no guarantee that the community will be able to put together a bid to match outside buyers, but this at least gives them a chance. Communities should consider which pubs they want to protect, and register them now, before they are at risk.
The government recently announced a next step in its support for stronger protections for pubs that are important to local communities. The government are planning to introduce secondary legislation, so that ‘the listing of a pub as an asset of community value will trigger a removal of the national permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition of those pubs’. This would mean that when a pub is listed as an asset of community value, a planning application will be required for the change of use (e.g. to a shop). This reform will add another reason to list valued local pubs as assets of community value.
The detail on what needs to happen to register a pub as an Asset of Community Value, and on your Community Right to Bid, can be found here.