ALE Spring 2002 No. 305

Public House Viability Test

CAMRA published this guide in Summer 1999 to help those involved in the planning process assess the viability of a pub.

The key point is that planning decisions regarding a pub, usually for change-of-use to housing, tend to hinge upon the prospects for the pub. If it can be shown to have a future, then planners are more likely to protect it as a local amenity. Conversely, if it isn't viable, then there's no reason to stand in the way of the change-of-use permission upon those grounds. (There may be other grounds, such as historic exterior/interior.)

The test involves these general headings:

  1. Population density
  2. Visitor potential
  3. Competition
  4. Flexibility of the site
  5. Parking
  6. Public transport
  7. Multiple use
  8. Local case studies for comparison
  9. The business at present
  10. The sale
Considering the detailed points within these headings leads to a rounded picture of the pub in its setting.

Copies can be obtained from CAMRA HQ via the CAMRA Action Line.

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