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Landlords rallying call to save Gloucester pubs

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 13, 2014

The Campaign for Real Ale is launching a campaign to save traditional pubs in Gloucester from developers.

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Landlords and politicians have united to urge the Government to protect pubs.

The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) is spearheading a national bid to change planning rules which currently allow pubs to be demolished or converted into homes and supermarkets without developers having to ask permission.

The UK loses 31 of its pubs every week and CAMRA believes enough is enough.

Its campaign calls on the Government to close planning loopholes to make it harder for developers to rob communities of their local.

Ben McCulloch, landlord of the Fountain Inn in Westgate Street, has backed the campaign, but can see both sides of the story.

“There are some cracking pubs that need to be protected,” he said. “But on the other hand there are some pubs that are not being used and not making any money. It is a business after all and if people are not visiting these empty pubs, then they will be taken over so they can be put back into use.

“Estate pubs are a good example. If people used them regularly, many would still be open.”

The Ridge and Furrow in Abbeydale shut down in December with Morrison’s harbouring plans to turn it into a petrol station. Other pubs to fall by the wayside include the Park End and The Seymour. Both have since been turned into flats, whereas The Greyhound Inn in Stroud is now a café.

Minister for Communities and Local Government, Stephen Williams, said: “A park and public space is just that, where as a pub is a commercial premises that somebody owns and somebody wants to make money from. I wouldn’t say they were exactly the same.

“There are several protections in place for pubs within the planning system.”

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