Since 2012, registered community groups such as parish councils or residents associations have been able to apply to councils to ask for pubs to be designated as Assets of Community Value (ACV).
In other words buildings, which are judged to be in community use and promote the social interests or wellbeing of local people can be given extra protection. Most of these applications have been approved.
Until now, listing a pub as an ACV effectively suspends any attempt to sell the property for six months, which can have significant consequences to landlords.
However, a new rule that was introduced from 6 April 2015, goes much further by removing permitted development rights for the changes of use and demolition of ACV pubs so that a full planning application is needed. This follows the Government announcement in January that ministers intended to further protect pubs.
This restricts the changes of use that are normally permitted by Part 3 of the General Permitted Development Order, e.g. changes to shops, restaurant or café and to financial or professional services. Once designated as an ACV the restriction lasts for five years and this restriction takes effect as soon as a pub is nominated.