Demolition of buildings is a complex legal area. For pubs, there is a new level of protection from demolition from May 2017.
Historically, permission was not required to demolish detached buildings that were not listed or located within a conservation area. This led to the demolition of many pubs without the opportunity to object.
Changes to the Neighbourhood Planning Act were brought in in April 2017, giving pubs a new degree of protection: from 23 May 2017, planning permission will be required before any pub in England can be demolished.
Please note that planning is a devolved matter. Protect Pubs was involved in the fight to gain this protection for pubs in England: in Scotland permission was always required before demolition. Regrettably we’re not as well up on legislation in the devolved nations, so do check your local legislation for pubs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Additional protection for listed buildings
Demolition of a listed building requires a special planning application known as ‘listed building consent’. The case of the Carlton Tavern in Westminster gained national coverage when it was demolished without listing building consent, and the owner was ordered to rebuild the pub.