Pub closure

London loses 1,220 pubs

Sadiq Khan plans to help stop the decline in the number of pubs in London after it was revealed that the capital had lost 1,220 since 2001.

The figures – which form part of the mayor of London’s new Cultural Infrastructure Plan – revealed that the number of pubs in London had fallen from 4,835 in 2001 to 3,615 in 2016, a drop of 25%.

On average, 81 pubs are lost per year in London with rises in business rates, conflicts with residents and developers, along with the relaxation of permitted development rights cited as some of the main issues causing the decline in pub numbers.

Mr Khan has committed to working with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to undertake an annual audit so the number of pubs in the capital can be tracked more closely.

“The Great British Pub is at the heart of the capital’s culture,” said Mr Khan.

“From traditional workingmen’s clubs to cutting-edge micro-breweries, London’s locals are as diverse and eclectic as the people who frequent them.

“That’s why I’m shocked at the rate of closure highlighted by these statistics, and why we have partnered with CAMRA to ensure we can track the number of pubs open in the capital and redouble our efforts to stem the rate of closures.”

Amy Lamé, the mayor’s Night Czar, has launched a public consultation on ‘Culture and the night time economy’, which contains guidance on how boroughs can protect pubs from closure.

“We all need to love our pubs, and not take them for granted,” said Ms Lamé.

“As an American who came to live in London over 20 years ago, I immediately fell in love with London’s pub culture.

“Running a pub of my own, I understand just how important they are to the life and spirit of a community.”

Geoff Strawbridge, Greater London CAMRA regional director, felt that pubs played a vital part in many people’s lives, yet London pubs were coming under enormous threats.

“CAMRA has welcomed the opportunity to work with the mayor in monitoring pub closures in the capital, and hopes this initiative will continue to draw attention to the plight of London pubs."

The announcement comes after Wandsworth Council called on more local authorities to place Article 4 Directions to protect pubs from permitted development.

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