Planning laws change to protect pub theatres

The Neighbourhood Planning Act passed into law on 28 April 2017 and removes permitted development rights in England that currently enable the change of use of pubs to retail, restaurant or office uses without the need for planning permission.

Under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2017, which comes in to effect on 23 May, any proposal to change the use of a pub venue will now require the applicant to submit a planning application and seek full planning permission.

This measure should afford a greater level of protection for pub theatres and allow for greater level of community say on future use of these pub venues.

In addition, the Government have indicated that any local planning authority that are meeting their housing requirement (100%, as measured by the proposed housing delivery test) will be afforded greater flexibility in respect of the areas that can be covered by Article 4 directions removing the permitted development rights to change offices to residential uses. This measure will also help safeguard theatre use in our town centres.

If you have any queries about how this might affect your theatre please contact

Image: Paul Blakemore, Wardrobe Theatre Bristol