Demolition of buildings is a complex legal area.
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.
In May 2017, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2017 came into force. This removed all permitted development rights including demolition from pubs, meaning that planning consent is required in all cases in England before a pub 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
In addition to the legislation covering pubs, demolition of a listed building or a building within a conservation area 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.