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My hon. Friend came to see me to discuss a particular example in her constituency. I believe the problem was that the local authority itself owned the piece of land in the Newton Abbot area. Ministers have been quite clear to local authorities that they should not put artificial obstructions in the way of listing assets of community value. There have been other examples where people have asked about requirements for business plans, but these are not contemplated at all under the Localism Act 2011, so local authorities should not be doing this. The provision is designed to be simple for residents to use and to be simple for them to identify an asset that is important to them. As long as the 21 signatures of support are obtained, the council should list the asset.
Although national permitted development rights are important in creating a flexible planning system, we recognise that there are cases were individual local consideration is merited. We will therefore remove the permitted development right that allows for the change of use from pubs to shops, financial and professional services, and restaurants and cafes or for the demolition of any pubs as long as they are listed as an assets of community value. This will mean that, for these pubs, a planning application must be made to a local planning authority before a change of use or demolition of a pub can take place. This gives the decision back to the council representing the local community.