Objecting to Planning Applications Affecting Pubs

Don’t know where to start when it comes to reviewing a planning application?

Don’t panic!

Follow the steps on these pages to help you locate & review applications, formulate grounds to object or support the proposals, and lodge your response. Factual, rather than emotional, objections will carry more weight as planners need grounds to turn down an application that would stand up to scrutiny by a planning inspector if an applicant appealed a decline decision.

1. Locate the application via the local authority’s online register

The local authorities covering our branch area are: Lambeth(part), Lewisham, Royal Greenwich, and Southwark.

When searching, bear in mind that some applicants deliberately do not include the name of the pub in the property address.

Note the date the public consultation ends as your comments need to be submitted before then – though in practice most planning authorities will take into account all comments received prior to the application being determined.

2. Consider whether there are grounds to object

Points to consider may include:

(a)  Have other nearby pubs already been lost and how far away is the nearest trading pub?

(b)  Can any evidence included in the application to claim the pub is not financially viable be challenged?

(c)  To what extent is the pub used by different community clubs / organisations?

(d)  Has the pub been registered as an Asset of Community Value?

(e)  Is the building of architectural merit and is it listed? See schedule of SE London Listed Pubs.

(f)  Is the interior listed in CAMRA’s Inventory of Pubs with Interiors of Special Historical Interest?

(g)  Is the property situated in a conservation area?

(h)  Is any proposed replacement property unacceptable or out of keeping with surrounding buildings?

(i)  If proposed conversion to another use, eg. supermarket, betting shop, are there already enough such properties in the locality?

(j)  Does the application comply with relevant planning and pub protection policies? Making reference to specific policies helps to make a stronger case, eg. the minimum period a pub must be marketed as a pub under the council’s pub protection policies and and whether sufficient evidence this has been complied with.

(k)  If plans for demolition include pub use in the proposed new development there is usually no guarantee that a pub will ever re-open in the new premises.

3. Formulate & Submit Your Response

Do try to keep your response succinct and focused on the key areas that the planners can and will take into account.

Objections may be submitted via the council’s online planning portal, or by letter.  Online objections may be restricted to a maximum number of characters.

If you are objecting in a personal capacity do let us know via protection@sel.camra.org.uk as we may not be aware of the application and may wish to consider submitting a formal objection on behalf of the Branch.

Further Information

Guide to planning use categories and when planning permission is needed

CAMRA Guide to Saving Your Local Pub