Value of under-threat pubs in Bristol to be underlined in new campaign to save them
Bristol and District Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) group has given fresh support to communities attempting to save their local pubs.
It is to write to Bristol City councillor and the planning authority to raise awareness of policies which recognise the value of the local and could stop any plan to change their use.
Bristol CAMRA Pubs group chairman Nigel Morris said some pubs which were deemed unviable and closed could be reopened as thriving businesses under new ownership.
While he said other pub owners looked to sell to cash in on the value of property.
He said: “We have been supporting these campaigns over recent months and were heartened to see that, in some cases, despite a few setbacks, local community groups are still determined to save their neighbourhood pubs.
“Pubs have been at the heart of our communities for many years and the people trying to save these pubs clearly believe that they can once again be turned into thriving locals.
“In some cases, community groups are looking at buying these pubs, demonstrating the belief that they can be financially viable and successful.
“We have lost quite a few pubs in Bristol in recent years and some areas now have no or hardly any pubs left.
“When communities are prepared to organise themselves to try and save their local pubs, we will support them and offer advice.”
The branch is lobbying Bristol City councillors to raise awareness of the council’s specific policies to recognise the value of pubs.
One policy acknowledges the role of our community pubs as ‘a focus for local people, helping to promote better personal contact between groups and individuals and generating community spirit and a sense of place’.
Another says their ‘unique contribution to a community’s social amenity and wellbeing’ gives them special protection.
Requirements are in place for developers to meet to gain planning consent for a change of use.
They include showing a pub is no longer economically viable or there are enough pubs already in the area.
Mr Morris added: “It is encouraging to note that, in several cases, ward councillors have called in the planning applications so any decision on their future will need to be made by the full planning committee.”
“We are backing the efforts by local people to save their locals and hope to see these pubs reopening their doors (as pubs) to communities in the not-too-distant future.”