Save our pubs, say Sheffield beer enthusiasts
Beer enthusiasts are calling on Sheffield Council to protect the city's pubs and not allow them to be closed and redeveloped.
The Sheffield and District Branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, says Covid-19 and lockdown is making life extremely difficult for pub owners and tenants and warns not all of them will survive.
Dave Pickersgill, on behalf of CAMRA, has written to Sheffield Council asking planners to stick closely to national and local policies which protect community facilities.
He has been backed by Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats, who says pubs are vital to the community.
Mr Pickersgill said: “CAMRA is concerned that some owners and developers will exploit this situation as an opportunity for short-term financial gain and will seek planning permission to change the use of pubs.
"They will claim that the pubs concerned were struggling to be viable before the crisis, but are now unviable.
“The reality is that, before the virus struck, the pub trade was in its healthiest state for many years.
“The public’s enthusiasm for pub-going will surely return undiminished once life is back to normal, new businesses will soon emerge to take the place of crisis casualties. Hence, we need to keep the pub stock essentially intact.”
Coun Mohammed has been involved in campaigns to save pubs in his Ecclesall ward.
He said: “Developers say pubs are not viable, but we have to keep an eye on this.
“Pubs are an important part of our community. Communities won't be the same if they are replaced with flats or a supermarket.”