Friday, August 05, 2011

MP and CAMRA hail pub plans change

CAMRA and Greg Mulholland have lobbied hard for this good news and Bob Neil probably deserves a pat on the back for it too but the basic problem remains: The tenure of the majority of pubs being held by short term interest pub companies whose only motivation is the extraction of the maximum possible cash and value from whatever assets they have leaves community pubs chronically underinvested in and dilapidated while they offer a poor range of products sold at unrealistically high prices.

Pubcos continue to extract profits by overworking their assets - while the assets are locked into a spiral of declining income and material neglect created by their tenure, unable to service the unrealistic costs imposed by their freeholders.

There is a paradox at this level; Pubs whose change of use comes under threat because planning laws do not protect them from change of use are under primarily threat because they are not viable as pubs - BECAUSE of the way they have been operated - by freeloading unregulated pubcos.

If these pubs were taken on and managed by responsible owners, invested in properly and run professionally while providing a good range of attractively priced products they would not fall foul of weak planning in the first place.

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