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CAMRA slams Marston's pub sell-off

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake

Posted November 28, 2013
breaking news dammit!

Sale of 202 pubs to retail property developer is "bad news for communities".

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has reacted angrily to news that UK brewer Marston's has sold off 202 of its pubs to retail property developer NewRiver Retail for £90m ($147.2m).

"This pub sell-off is bad news for communities which may lose their pubs as a result," says CAMRA CEO Mike Benner in a press release.

"NewRiver Retail have seriously underestimated the challenges and opposition that they will face in trying to sell profitable community pubs and convert them into convenience stores and other uses."

"Local residents and pub campaigners will be mounting sustained opposition to prevent their valued local pub being converted into a supermarket."

"With one in 10 high street shops empty, it makes no sense that retailers are targeting pubs," he continues.

"Our message to NewRiver Retail is that they should be focused on reviving existing retail spaces rather than seeking to destroy valued community pubs serving local communities and we call on them to take every step to sell pubs as going concerns."

"The fact that this sale has happened is a result of a dysfunctional planning system which means pubs are regarded as easy pickings by developers."

"No one can convincingly argue that supermarkets provide a similar community amenity to a local pub."

"CAMRA will be using this development to press home the case for tougher planning protection for pubs and for greater consumer consultation when they are threatened with alternative use."

And to this end, CAMRA has the full support of the Rake & Herald.

Save our pubs!

See also Life and love in the pub, posted 14/10/13, and List your local, save your pub, posted 13/4/13.

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