Drinkers urged to battle stores taking over pubs

High Green Sainbury's Protest , at The Old Cart And Horse, With David Pepper, & Gary Wetherall
High Green Sainbury's Protest , at The Old Cart And Horse, With David Pepper, & Gary Wetherall
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Pubs across South Yorkshire have been listed as community assets as part of a bid to stop potential shop takeovers.

The Castle Inn at Bolsterstone inSheffield, Cutlers Arms in Rotherham and Red Heart Inn in Misterton, near Doncaster, are among hundreds of hostelries on the Campaign for Real Ale’s register of pubs that are official ‘assets of community value.’

Campaigners are now encouraging more people to list their locals so communities have a chance to bid for the property if its owners intend to sell at any point.

However, Camra said 31 pubs a week are closing across the country and the scheme is ‘undermined’ by rules that mean pubs can be converted into shops by a simple change of consent, rather than through a planning application.

Tom Stainer, from Camra, said: “The fact pubs are the most listed community asset shows just how much people value their local pub.

“It is hugely disappointing the Government won’t act to close planning loopholes which allow developers to convert pubs to other uses without the requirement for planning permission.”

At the Cutlers Arms, Westgate, Rotherham, local drinkers have been involved in the bid to list it as an asset.

Alison Daniels, who has just taken over the pub, said there were currently no plans for it to close, but it was ‘fantastic’ it had been listed as a community asset.

Elsewhere in the county, pubs turning into supermarkets has been a controversial subject.

Plans to demolish the Old Cart and Horses in High Green, Sheffield, so it could become a Sainsbury’s Local with a hot food takeaway were approved this summer after a public inquiry – despite a lengthy campaign from hundreds of people.

In Beighton, Sheffield, residents raised concerns when plans to make alterations to the Royal Oak pub on High Street were approved.

The applicant said it intended to keep it as a pub, but residents feared it would eventually become a store by changing its use.

And Camra’s Doncaster branch was also looking at filing applications to list two pubs as community assets earlier this year.

The number of pub closures in the town – including ars such as The Drum in Bentley, The Moon at Carcroft, and The Park Hotel at Belle Vue – sparked a Save Our Pubs campaign from The Star.