The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has urged MPs to support the development of new convenience stores ahead of a debate on pub conversions.
In a statement, the Department for Communities and Local Government said that it plans to “bring forward secondary legislation at the earliest opportunity so that in England the listing of a pub as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) will trigger a removal of the national permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition of those pubs that communities have identified as providing the most community benefit.”
This means that retailers hoping to convert pubs that are listed as an ACV to convenience stores will have to submit a full planning application instead of going through the permitted development rights for change of use.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “It is important that communities have the right to designate assets of community value like pubs and local shops but this should not act as block to new developments. The flexibility that exists in the use class system is important to meet changing needs of consumers and ensure that properties do not stay empty for long periods.”
In a briefing sent to MPs ahead of an Infrastructure Bill debate on the issue in Parliament, ACS has outlined the key role that convenience stores play in communities both from an economic and social perspective. The convenience sector in the UK generates over £37.4bn, with over 80% of stores engaged with local and national charities.