ALE Summer 2003 No. 311

Historic Pub Interiors

CAMRA has launched a new edition of its National Inventory of historic pub interiors.

Of over 60,000 pubs in the UK, a mere 250 have interiors of outstanding heritage interest. The huge majority of pubs have undergone drastic alterations in recent years and less than 4% have retained features of historic significance.

The Inventory features 205 pubs with exceptional historic interiors and a further 43 pubs with particular internal features of national historic importance.

CAMRA calls for more local authorities to protect pub interiors from unsympathetic alteration.

A large number of National Inventory pubs are in statutorily 'listed' buildings - most of them at Grade II, which means their safeguarding is essentially entrusted to local planning authorities. In the past, local planning authorities have not always exercised their control powers with the same force to the insides as to the outsides of listed pub buildings, and this has contributed to the loss of many valuable pub interiors.

Not all historic pubs qualify for statutory listing, but they could benefit from inclusion in "local lists" of the kind some local authorities already operate. CAMRA is calling for all local authorities to establish such lists, which can play a major part in influencing local planning policies and raising awareness about locally-important historic buildings, including pubs. CAMRA believes that, at the present time, only about a third of local authorities choose to maintain such lists.

A recent report from English Heritage has highlighted a shortage of resources within local planning authorities for dealing with the historic environment. The report shows that 15% of authorities have no Conservation Officer posts at all and three-quarters of conservation areas have no adopted character assessments. The report also found the influence of Conservation Officers within planning departments to be generally low.

The CAMRA National Inventory can be ordered from the CAMRA Online Shop.

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Cambridge & District CAMRA