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Otley MP will hold talks on supermarket pub deals
A Wharfedale MP has secured a meeting with a Government minister over the issue of “predatory” pub buying by supermarket chains.
Greg Mulholland will discuss his concerns about viable inns being converted into convenience stores, regardless of how local residents feel, when he meets community pubs minister Brandon Lewis.
Mr Mulholland, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, has also called for regulation changes to force supermarkets who wish to buy a pub to go through the formal planning process.
He said: “It is a scandal that viable and wanted pubs are being converted into supermarkets due to the current weak planning rules.
“These mean pubs can be changed into supermarkets, betting shops and pay-day loan shops, or even demolished, without needing to gain planning permission.
“This means that the local community has no say whatsoever over the future of its local.
“That is a situation the community pubs minister and Prime Minister, who say they support localism, simply cannot defend any longer.
“I am pleased to have secured a meeting with the minister to discuss this.
“The Government must wake up to this before many more viable pubs are lost forever.”
He added: “Any change of use to a community pub must have to go through the planning system.
“And it is also time to introduce a six-month moratorium in which a pub cannot be closed, converted or demolished until there has been community consultation and an independent viability test.