Monday, 14 September 2015

Times Up for Pub Conversions?

A new blogger this month to give Peter a rest. I am Alan Siviter a Senior Planner at Landmark Planning.

An interesting article in the Leicester Mercury from Tuesday 8th September 2015, shows another example of ever-changing context of planning and a new added level of difficulty to securing planning permission.  The Western, in Leicester's West End became the first pub in the City to be named an Asset of Community Value (ACV).  

The ACV designation means that if the pub were to be sold, the local community would have an opportunity to bid and potentially buy the building.  The ACV designation also has other implications.  The designation makes it much harder to get planning permission to change the use of the site, particularly for buildings in use as public house (A4 Use Class).

The Western Public House

  1. A3, A4 and A5 to A1 or A2 (Part 3 Class A)
  1. A4 and A5 to A3 (Part 3 Class B)
  1. Use of buildings as a state funded school for a single academic year  (Part 4 Class C)
  1. A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1, D2 or Betting Office or Pay Day Loan Shop to a Flexible A1, A2, A3 or B1 for up to 2 years. (Part 4 Class D)
  1. Demolition (Part 11 Class B)
  1. A written request must made to LPA requesting whether the building has been nominated;
  1. If the building is nominated, whether at the date of request or on a later date, the local planning authority must notify the developer as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is aware of the nomination, and on notification development is not permitted for the specified period (either until it is entered onto the ACV list or the nomination is unsuccessful);
  1. The development must not begin before the expiry of a period of 56 days following the date of request and must be completed within a period of 1 year of the date of that request.  
A previous pub conversion in Chesterfield

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 updated Permitted Development (PD) legislation.  It removes PD rights for buildings that have been listed as an Asset of Community Value for the following uses:

In relation to 1, 2 and 3 above PD rights are removed for 5 years beginning on the date the ACV was entered on to the list or until the building is removed from the list.  (Buildings can be re-nominated as an ACV after 5 years).   4 and 5 would now require planning permission.

PLEASE NOTE: the new legislation has provided an added level of protection to pubs.

If reader is seeking to implement PD rights on an A4 use, which isn't nominated or on list, there are still a number of conditions that apply.  These are listed below:

The increased level of protection to public houses was seen as means of deterring retailers from targeting pubs for a change use to local convenience stores such as a Tesco Express or a Sainsbury's Local.  There are many examples of this without the need for planning permission or the need to complete a sequential or impact test.  The new legislation allows the local community opportunity to identify a pub earmarked for development as an ACV.

The legislation is not an outright ban on development it just requires that the development of ACV assets and public houses undergo a greater degree of scrutiny.

Alan Siviter