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Government to help prevent pubs turning into flats?

Pub Minister Bob Neill has launched a public consultation into the use of “restrictive covenants” which make it easier for pub landlords to shut down pubs and turn them over to property developers.

If  made into law, the removal of this restriction could prevent breweries making sure that a pub can’t be bought by one of its rivals when they come to sell the premises.

The move has been welcomed by  Camra’s chief executive, Mike Benner,  who said: “Restrictive covenants are used by pub companies to deprive local communities of their pubs, at a time when 29 pubs are closing every week.

Between 2004 and 2009, this happened to almost 600 pubs.

He welcomed the consultation as a “great success for localism” and added: “It shows that government recognises that pubs are vital community assets that need to be protected.

For the new community right-to-buy scheme to work, pubs need to be available for communities to keep open.

It’s a victory too for people power: this proposal came from communities on the ground, via their local councils. ”

Photograph above courtesy of Steve Grindlay