On 6 April an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 came into force, placing additional restrictions on pubs which have been listed as Assets of Community Value (ACVs).

We have previously set out the steps for an asset to become listed as an ACV, and the implications once it is listed.

Research undertaken by Planning shows that pubs are the most popular type of asset to be listed as an ACV, and they have been the subject of emotive campaigns for listing.

In January Kris Hopkins, the Community Pubs Minister, announced these changes as a measure to protect the “Great British pub” as a national treasure.

This amendment to the Order means that a pub listed as an ACV, or nominated to become an ACV, cannot change use under permitted development rights, but instead must apply for planning permission.  The permitted development rights which are not available for ACV or nominee pubs are:

  • change to a shop;
  • change to a restaurant or café;
  • change to financial and professional services premises
  • change to a temporary state funded school for a maximum of one academic year;
  • change to be used as flexible financial and professional services premises, restaurant or café or business premises for a maximum two year period; or
  • to be demolished

This pro-ACV stance contrasts with the Government’s response to a Select Committee Inquiry into community rights, in which it refused a recommendation to make ACV status a material consideration in planning applications, except for minor works.

Local planning authorities can continue to decide whether or not ACV status is a material consideration.  This leaves an interesting situation where a ACV pub could require planning permission for change of use or demolition, but its ACV status may not be a material consideration in that application for the same change which but for its ACV status could be carried out under permitted development rights.