The beer blogosphere is littered with posts on pub closures and the many reasons for their decline. I’ve joined in the debate on a number of occasions on here and commenting on other blogs. There are all manner of theories, reasons and excuses for what has brought about the slow death of the pub; some seemingly more plausible than others. But just when you think that lot of the pub can get no worse another possible threat rears its ugly head.
Up and down the land the planning regulations along with listed building status have been used to thwart scheming breweries/pubcos/developers keen to make shed-loads of dosh. Councils of all hues have at times been successfully persuaded to refuse change of use applications or to list pub buildings that were being threatened with re-development. In fact it happened to a pub in our street just before we moved here. But it now looks as if the planning safety net could possibly be whipped away as well.
In a desperate attempt to try and shove a broom-handle up the arse of the corpse that is Free-Schools, and according to this piece, the ConDems are considering relaxing planning rules. “Apparently the lack of available buildings is one of the reasons cited by government for why they're not exactly being knocked over by a rush of organisations looking to set up a new school.” Pubs, amongst other buildings, are a possible contender to aid the fight for an even more unequal society. Now there are some of you who will accuse me of scaremongering and trying to score cheap partisan political points here, and i would be the first to accept that in its latter days the last Labour government didn’t do a great deal to help pubs either. But all I’m trying to highlight here is that pubs are still under threat and yet another hazard is potentially heading the industry's way. Governments just don’t care about pubs!