A national campaign group has said that laws need to be introduced to make it harder for pubs in England and Wales to be demolished or converted into shops.
South Holland has already been affected by the loss of pubs, including the Ye Olde Dun Cow on Barrier Bank in Cowbit, the subject of an ongoing battle about what will happen to the site of the now demolished fire damaged pub.
Villagers were left “extremely disappointed” earlier this year when, despite the site of the pub being placed on the community assets register in order to preserve it, the pub was still demolished to make way for a residential development.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), who backed a petition to restore the Ye Olde Dun Cow to its former glory, says that 31 pubs in the UK have closed every week this year, which is five more a week than in 2013.
It is also suggested that an average of two pubs a week have been turned into supermarkets since 2012.
The group is calling for a change in the law which currently allows pubs to be turned into shops or other businesses without planning permission from local authorities.
CAMRA says that if the government were to tighten planning legislation, it would make it harder for developers to convert the pubs as they would need to apply to local authorities for permission.
We asked the people of Spalding what they thought about pub closures and shops replacing them.
Mike Thompson said: “Most pub sites are in centres of towns or villages. I don’t think supermarkets should be built there –they should be on the outskirts.”
Zoe Eley said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea for supermarkets to replace pubs but I do prefer to drink at home now as it’s cheaper.”
Melvyn Lacey said: “It’s totally wrong! There should be a clause that states pubs need to re-open as pubs, not shops.
“I had a pub for a few years and loved it.”
Stuart Chamberlain said: “It is a shame to lose pubs and we do have enough supermarkets and shops now.”