The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has called for changes to the Government's Localism Bill amid concerns that ‘community right to buy' proposals could harm the sale of viable pubs.
The BBPA urged peers to support a push for a rethink on the details of the scheme, as it enters the House of Lords next week.
The association said that although it supports community right to buy if the circumstances are right, it wanted new safeguards in the Bill to ensure that what it termed "normal, business-to business sales of pubs" were not disrupted.
The BBPA wants changes to ensure that the community right to buy mechanism would only be triggered in four specific circumstances; when a pub is put up for sale and is at risk of closure, is already closed, is subject to an application for change of use, or is subject to a demolition order.
BBPA director of future pubs, Martin Rawlings, said: "We want to see as many pubs stay open as possible - and ‘community right to buy' definitely has a role to play in keeping community pubs open. But many pubs are successfully bought and sold every day, and thrive under their new ownership. The changes we would like to see would allow transfers of ownership to continue without being help up in costly delays, but retain the benefits and safeguards of the ‘community right to buy' proposals, should they be needed. These are common sense changes that deserve support."
By Neil Gerrard
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