Bid to save St Albans pubs

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

Pubs being mugged by demolition or conversion should receive extra protection from the district council’s planning policies.

Lib Dem opposition councillors want St Albans council to provide safeguards for community pubs as has happened in other parts of the country.

They were due to raise the issue at last night’s (27) full meeting of the district council.

Group leader, Cllr Anthony Rowlands, said community pubs were a meeting place where social networks developed and in many cases they played a key part in promoting community cohesion and providing a safe environment for responsible drinking.

Bemoaning the fact that the council’s current planning policies failed to give adequate protection to community pubs making them vulnerable to conversion or demolition, he went on: “The diverse range of thriving local pubs is one of the most attractive features of our city and district.”

The Lib Dems want to see protective policies incorporated into the emerging Strategic Local Plan permitting change of use or demolition only where it can be shown that marketing a pub has been unsuccessful and alternative community uses have been thoroughly explored.

Among local pubs which have closed in recent years are The Milehouse, The Spotted Bull and the Duke of Marlborough in St Albans and The Three Horseshoes in Harpenden.