Assets of Community Value
In 2012, powers under the Localism Act 2011 came into force which enable communities to apply to their local authority for certain types of properties, including pubs, to be designated an Asset of Community Value (“ACV”).
ACV status means that if the owner of the property wants to sell it, this cannot be done secretly as the local community has to be given the right to make a bid for the property and has a period of up to six months to do so.
A pub’s ACV status will usually be “a legitimate material consideration” when planning officers are considering whether to allow change of use to residential or other use.
ACV applications can only be made by a “voluntary or community body with a local connection” which includes charities, registered neighbourhood forums, unincorporated bodies with at least 21 members which do not distribute any surplus to their members, and parish councils.
A landmark legal ruling in January 2015 upheld SE London CAMRA’s ACV application in respect of the Windmill in Sydenham, and so established a legal precedent that local CAMRA branches qualify to make such applications.
Additional Planning Permission Protections
With effect from 6 April 2015, changes in planning law took effect that remove permitted development rights from pubs designated Assets of Community Value. This means that in future all changes of use for such pubs will require planning permission, whereas previously conversion of a pub to, say, a supermarket did not.
Pubs currently fall within the A4 planning use class which means that without ACV status, they can be converted to other use classes, or even demolished, without planning permission or any community consultation.
These other uses include:
- A1: Shops which include retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, Post Offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.
- A2: Financial and Professional Services such as banks and building societies, professional services, estate agencies, employment agencies and betting offices
- A3: Restaurants and Cafes for the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises (restaurants, snack bars and cafes).
- B1: Business (temporarily for up to two years) which includes offices, R&D of products and processes and light industry appropriate in a residential area.
- Demolition: A developer can also demolish a pub without planning permission.
ACV status lasts for 5 years then would need renewing.
- CAMRA Guide to Nominating Pubs as ACVs
- CAMRA Information For Licencees
- Template for 21 Individuals Forming an Unincorporated Body
- Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012
- Windmill Tribunal Ruling
- Lambeth Council ACV Register
- Lewisham Council ACV Register
- Royal Greenwich Council ACV Register
- Southwark Council ACV Register
- Schedule of SE London pubs with ACV status