Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has voted in favour of an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill which would ensure that community pubs are protected from demolition.
The purpose of clause 16 of the new Infrastructure Bill would allow local people to voice their opposition to pub closures and ensure any proposed demolition of, or change of use to pubs would be forced to go through the full planning process.
Currently, pubs can be demolished or have their use changed without the need for planning permission.
Mr Evans commented: “It makes the utmost sense to bring pubs under the same system as other developments, particularly to ensure that pubs are not simply bought and then converted into housing.
“In rural and semi-rural areas such as Ribble Valley, pubs are right at the heart of communities and need to be protected and preserved. However, there are currently an average of 31 pubs closing nationally each and every week, meaning that some communities are now being starved of pubs.
“When I first moved to Ribble Valley, the village of Gisburn had four pubs, and it is now down to only one. It is high time that some fresh thinking was applied to this subject to help preserve local pubs and stop this downward trend.”