Wandsworth looks to protect pubs

pubsWandsworth Council has approved new planning guidance for consultation that would aim to protect pubs from redevelopment and tackle the spread of fast food takeaways.

The community services committee gave its backing to the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and agreed it should be put out to a four week public consultation beginning on October 17.

The new guidance could come into force in March next year, giving the council new powers to protect pubs and stop new hot fast food outlets opening.

Deputy council leader Jonathan Cook said: “Across the country we are seeing well loved and successful pubs being converted into a new breed of small supermarkets. The people of Wandsworth have made it very clear how much they value their local pubs and we want to introduce planning guidance designed to protect them.

“When our new SPD comes into force we will have the powers we need to refuse planning applications to convert pubs into shops. Our next step would be to remove permitted development rights from every pub of heritage or community value in Wandsworth so changes to these buildings and the way they are used would need permission from the council.

“We have also proposed new limits on the concentration of fast food takeaways, both in our town centres and around schools. This is an important step in tacking obesity as well as maintaining the balance of different shops, pubs and food outlets our high streets need to remain attractive and popular.

“We are also proposing limits on the number of betting shops but will have to wait until after the Government has confirmed changes to their planning classification. Once we know the outcome of this process we will review our approach to controlling their spread.”

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