Pub sale restrictions to be reviewed

A legal loophole that allows breweries to prevent the re-opening of pubs they have sold off is to be reviewed by the government.

Communities and Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, announced the review into the 'restrictive covenants' after groups of supporters of local pubs claimed that large breweries were using them to limit competition.

He said that changes to the restrictive covenants would allow local people and communities to use the new Community Right to Buy power in the Localism Bill the chance to take over a local pub if it comes up for sale.

Under proposals that have been presented to the government, an asset - such as a local shop, pub or library - can be nominated onto a 'most wanted' list held by the local council. If an asset that appears on a list is put up for sale on the open market, the council could have its sale delayed for a set 'community countdown' that would give local people or groups the time to put together a business plan and sufficient funding to make a competitive bid for it.

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