The traditional British pub is under threat from breweries trying to cash in on the property boom. That’s according to a report by the BBC. Pub closures are currently running at 56 every month. Many are due to a loophole in the law that allowed developers to demolish pubs without the need for planning permission. To turn a pub into a residential dwelling, planning permission must be got from the local authority. In addition to this the owners must prove they have made an effort to sell the pub as a business. Despite this local people have claimed the pub owners often price pubs unrealistically or deliberately run them into the ground because it is more profitable to sell them to property developers.
I recently went back to my home town of Sevenoaks and was greatly saddened to see that The Farmers where I have spent many a happy evening, no longer stands. The 150 year old pub was demolished despite having a thriving local community and despite local petitions with over 2000 signatures to try and save it. All because the company that owned it wanted to cash in on the sale of the site which will now become flats. The Campaign for real ale has called for new housing developments to include a pub, it will be interesting to see whether this leads to new premises being built. Sadly its too late for The Farmers.
The Farmers as it was in Sevenoaks Kent.