CAMRA has launched a new hard-hitting campaign to urge the Government to close national planning loopholes.

The campaign, ‘Pubs Matter: So why can’t we have a say’, aims to give power back to local communities by ensuring planning permission is always required before the change of use or demolition of a pub.

Local pubs are currently closing at an alarming rate and every week two pubs are converted into supermarkets. CAMRA says the current planning system too often leaves local communities powerless to act in the face of big companies and unscrupulous developers keen to exploit these loopholes.

Under current planning law, pubs can be demolished or converted into several other uses including supermarkets and estate agents without requiring planning permission.

This has recently been demonstrated with Tesco’s attempts to turn the Royal Oak in Haworth into a convenience store.

The local CAMRA branch has been informed that planning permission for an ATM has been refused, but this does not necessarily mean that Tesco will not still turn the pub into a store or open one elsewhere in the village.

Tom Stainer, CAMRA’s Head of Communications said: “It is wrong that communities are left powerless when a popular local pub is threatened with demolition or conversion into a Tesco store. This small change by Government would save hundreds of pubs from closure and give communities a powerful new weapon in the battle to protect our pubs.”

Communities already have the facility to request that a pub be recognised by the Local Authority as an “Asset of Community Value” (ACV), which we understand is being considered for the Royal Oak, spearheaded by the Parish Council.

If you are concerned about your local pub, you might want to consider having it classified as an ACV which would buy some time for the community should a supermarket or other commercial organisation want to change it use.

The CAMRA website states: “Increasing numbers of local councils are taking into account Assets of Community Value when considering new planning applications against the pub.

“Listing a pub show the value it has to the community. Listing your local means property developers who are keen for a hassle free purchase are less likely to show interest.

“If a listed pub goes up for sale, its ACV status has the power to postpone the sale for up to six months. That's just enough time for pub campaigners to gather together a suitable bid to buy the pub and run as community-owned.

To support the campaign please go to the website


Tomorrow until Sunday: Beer Festivals at the Swan in Addingham and Café Choux Choux on Keighley railway station.

Tonight until Sunday: Beer Festival on Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

November 7: Bridgehouse Brewery event at the Airedale Heifer, Sandbeds.

November 14 to 16: Beer Festivals at the Brown Cow, Keighley, and the Kings Arms, Silsden.

CAMRA’s national website is:

You can contact the local branch via the website: or call the branch contact on 01756 796167.