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Thread: Who should decide if a pub stays or goes?

  1. #11
    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    Not always easy to tell which is the case...
    At the risk of sounding too serious, I think that was Eddies point in his disgust at the wording of the CAMRA email that had no real content backed up by hard facts, but did have some assuming remarks towards a landlord they had not met and a business they had not visited.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpadam View Post
    That's one angle on this, but the other is trying to close a viable pub because it is worth more as residential (in rural areas and villages) or as an 'express'/'local' supermarket (in the suburbs). Run it down, market it as a business but at an inflated price, claim it's unviable, get planning permission for a change of use and kerching - you're in the money!

    Not always easy to tell which is the case...
    I need to do my homework on a bit of this tomorrow (as in I really don't understand the protection it gets for usage).

    If the building is special then it should be listed (and in this case is), just to cover that one.

    If you can make more money by making it residential then I don't blame anyone for trying/doing it, that to me still marks the business as uneconomical. Hence my quip about maybe CAMRA should build houses, it would after all solve this problem?

    I just genuinely don't see this as their problem, it will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed my ramblings that I think it is far better to promote good pubs and convince people in that way to get out and visit pubs and enjoy real ale; rather than to start campaigns that at best are actually statements on social policy (assuming the landlord has run the place down to profit on residential), to at worst having accused someone who has given it a good try of being incompetent.

    Edit: Felt I better add a smiley after reading Strongers post in case anyone thought I was getting moody


  3. #13
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie86 View Post

    Your last sentence is something I'd like to nick as my signature if I may!?

    Cheers
    why not I did (from the recent Economist piece on pubs by a journalist whose name I don't know but ought to credit , it only says Obituaries Editor)

    I think that line is very pertinent to this discussion and reflects my passion for pubs which I know is shared here and in CAMRA. I don't think anyone would defend keeping pubs open at all costs and we have to face the fact that this country is over-pubbed for the available market and some pubs will close.

    Hereford CAMRA should only have published that letter if they were sure of their facts and you are correct actions speak louder than words.
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    Covid19! is one by name
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  4. #14
    Real Ale Drinker Paris_Hilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad View Post

    It seems ridiculous to say that a business should sell itself for less than it is worth, even if that worth is in the form of residential.
    Something is only worth what people are prepared to pay to buy it. If the business has not sold for £750k in 4 years, then it's not worth £750k.

    Ultimately it's the free market that decides whether a pub closes or not. If it is popular it will stay open, if it is not it will close.

    If people are prepared to take on a viable business, they will, if they are not they won't.

    I can understand CAMRAs concerns, but it seems to me that the business is no longer viable due to its location, customer catchment area, running cost etc. Therefore the current landlord has every right to close the door.

  5. #15
    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris_Hilton View Post
    Something is only worth what people are prepared to pay to buy it. If the business has not sold for £750k in 4 years, then it's not worth £750k.

    Ultimately it's the free market that decides whether a pub closes or not. If it is popular it will stay open, if it is not it will close.

    If people are prepared to take on a viable business, they will, if they are not they won't.

    I can understand CAMRAs concerns, but it seems to me that the business is no longer viable due to its location, customer catchment area, running cost etc. Therefore the current landlord has every right to close the door.
    I agree, but over the last few years a lot of popular local pubs have closed due to pressure and money from development companies. Thankfully, in London at least, it is much harder to get a 'change of use' on a property - be that pub, residential, nursery.....
    WE ARE THE BREADMEN - UP THE BEES

  6. #16
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    Let's do some sums. What's a reasonable income for two people? £50,000 is about average these days with both working, rather more in the south east. To actually make that you are going to have to take over the counter say £150,000? - that's a guess and I'll stand corrected. That's £3000 a week, or, if you are "wet-led" about 1000 drinks a week you have to sell working all hours without any help. Gastrification is the other route, if there's enough of a market or you're very good at it. Many gastropub owners aren't very good at it and in any case you'll get it in the ear from Camra if beer becomes an afterthought. You've ruined the pub anyway.

    It had always been the case that few taking on very small or rural pubs made it their main source of income. Some (traditionally ex footballers and policemen) did it as a retirement passtime, in other cases one half of a couple went out and earned a steady salary, and in the real olden days it was often what farm workers wives did.

    I think these day peoples' expectations are different, and few people want to enter that end of the pub trade - and probably needing a whopping bank loan to get there - with no expectation of a decent income.

  7. #17
    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris_Hilton View Post
    Ultimately it's the free market that decides whether a pub closes or not. If it is popular it will stay open, if it is not it will close.
    Whilst I'd usually use the free market argument myself, there always has to be consideration given to 'irrational acts'.

    Eg:

    -Pub Cos attempting to flog off prime property assets with no interest in making a pub successful
    -A string of crap landlords blighting a decent pub (usually installed at the behest of the pub co above)
    -Daft ties on beer and massive rent hikes (pub co/brewery again)

    Ultimately, whilst some pubs are simply beyond economic viability and will close and not be much missed, I personally think there are a significant number that have closed because they have not been given the chance to be successful over the last 25 years. That's the real tragedy.

    Imagine if Greene King had sold the ailing Nags Head in Reading off to a property developer in 2006?

  8. #18
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    I shall start my post with the trite comments:
    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    ..., I couldn't comment on CAMRA's expertise in running pubs, I can only vouch for the quality of their beer festivals and management of an annual income of over £2 million.
    The £2 million point is clearly a matter of opinion, and in my opinion very wrong as demonstrated by the fact they are proposing to increase membership fees and remove the vote on raising them , probably for another ill-conceived and faulty moan at the monopolies commission.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    Imagine if Greene King had sold the ailing Nags Head in Reading off to a property developer in 2006?
    I'm guessing the current owner would have done very well in a different but possibly slightly less desirable property.

    Whilst it is desirable to keep classic pubs, it is the publican that makes them a success.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strongers View Post
    I agree, but over the last few years a lot of popular local pubs have closed due to pressure and money from development companies. Thankfully, in London at least, it is much harder to get a 'change of use' on a property - be that pub, residential, nursery.....
    I have kind of accidentally backed myself against this argument and right into the free market one. That said whilst I hate to see these old pubs converted I am not sure that I disagree with it. As I was alluding to in prior posts, I think this is part of a different problem which is the lack of housing stock in the UK (speaking as someone who will probably never be able to afford to buy). Were this problem to be sorted out we wouldn't have to worry about property developers ruining perfectly viable amenities.

    But to go to the specific point raised in Ed's blog, the bit that really really gets my goat is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Herefordshire CAMRA
    If there was only ever going to be one time in your life that you were prepared to write a letter (or e-mail) to the Council planners then this should be it. We cannot allow such an important pub, with such history and potential, to be killed off like this. If we lose the Rhydspence Inn then a precedent might be set meaning that none of our pubs would be safe from speculation in the future.
    I despise this tactic, telling people who have never visited the pub and will never visit the pub that they should put in objections and suggest the business is viable .

    It is a little close to home as I live next door to the Rovers stadium who have put in successful plans to change their stadium, that requested to allow 750 new residents into the area on the basis they would sign a piece of paper saying they didn't own a car (that they openly admitted they couldn't enforce). It was passed after using the get 6000 fans to write in tactic (although I can't say if they were influenced). And equally City who I support have applied for planning and are using similar tactics to try and railroad the local residents (I refused to sign) where they are planning to build (and the local residents have countered with the equally despicable village green provision).

  9. #19
    Please give generously Quinno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
    It is a little close to home as I live next door to the Rovers stadium who have put in successful plans to change their stadium, that requested to allow 750 new residents into the area on the basis they would sign a piece of paper saying they didn't own a car (that they openly admitted they couldn't enforce). It was passed after using the get 6000 fans to write in tactic (although I can't say if they were influenced). And equally City who I support have applied for planning and are using similar tactics to try and railroad the local residents (I refused to sign) where they are planning to build (and the local residents have countered with the equally despicable village green provision).
    Get this man a Swampy mask

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quinno View Post
    Get this man a Swampy mask
    Screw that, knock all the trees down and build houses I say

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