Planning Guidance Offers Protection For Pubs

Plus curbs on betting shops and takeaways

Planning guidance to protect community pubs, restrict the number of new fast food takeaways near schools and control the spread of betting shops has been approved.

The ‘Town Centre Uses Supplementary Planning Document’ builds on policies in Wandsworth’s Local Plan. It helps guide planners on how pubs can be protected and whether takeaways or betting shops should be allowed to open.

The guidance has been given the green light by councillors following consultation with local people. It focuses on three main areas:

Pubs: The guidance gives planners stronger grounds to refuse planning applications to redevelop local pubs. Refusal may be given if the pub is important historically or architecturally, or is important to its local community.

Currently pub owners do not need planning permission to demolish a pub or for the change the use of a pub to, say, a supermarket. In June councillors will be asked to consider putting ‘Article 4 Directions’ on a number of important local pubs. This means owners would need to apply for permission before knocking them down or changing them into shops or other uses such as an estate agents.

Betting shops: New rules mean planning permission is now needed to open a new betting or payday loan shop. Planners also have stronger grounds to refuse applications if it is felt they will result in a less diverse town centre or will adversely affect communities or local people’s health or wellbeing. The new guidance will help prevent the over-concentration of betting shops within 400 metres.

Takeaways: The guidance limits the number of new fast food takeways that can open with 400 metres of local schools or colleges.

Deputy council leader Jonathan Cook, pictured right said:
“We have drawn up these guidelines in response to calls from local people to limit betting shops and takeaways and stop our much-loved pubs being destroyed. We would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation, and we hope this helps us maintain diverse, vibrant town centres that truly serve their local communities.”

Health spokesman Cllr Jim Maddan said:
“Restricting the number of fast food outlets near schools is a priority for us because we know that too many of our young children are overweight or obese. These planning guidelines will enable us to limit the number of new premises which can open and help improve the health of our children.”

Read the Town Centre Uses Supplementary Planning Document.

May 27, 2015