When the Dyke Pub was closed overnight, and re-opened the next day as the ‘Emporium’ shop, it was a shock to the local Brighton community. Sadly, the Dyke was not an isolated case – many developers have used this tactic as a stepping stone to redevelop pubs as lucrative residential schemes. But thanks to campaigning from CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), Protect Pubs and many groups like ours, the government have recognised the importance of vibrant community pubs like The Dyke, and changed the law to protect them.
Before this change to the law, it has been possible to convert a pub into a shop – or even demolish it – without permission. From 23rd May 2017, community pubs will be given more protection from developers – so they can’t get away with doing what Martin Webb did to the Dyke. This new legislation will allow communities to have a say in the future of their local pub.
‘Pub Champion’ Greg Mulholland celebrated the amendment by tweeting a photo of himself with a pint!
PHEW! After the scare, the #WinforPubs on planning protection WILL happen! Great to work #crossparty with @LordRoyKennedy @CLeslieMP! 👍🍻 pic.twitter.com/lEt951df5r— The Pub Champion (@ThePubChampion) April 25, 2017
The Save the Dyke Group are delighted that a loophole which allowed our much loved local pub to become a junk shop will be closed, and hopefully will keep other community pubs safe from developers
So what’s happening with The Dyke Pub now?
The Dyke Pub Preservation Society organised an independent valuation of the site, which gave a figure of £965,000. An offer to buy the pub for this amount was made, but Martin Webb rejected it, claiming the Dyke as a development opportunity is worth £1.6million.
Despite posters in the windows promising a new, ‘smaller’ Dyke pub this summer – and a feature on his townhouse plans in the Brighton Argus – Martin Webb is yet to submit a planning application to the Council. In the meantime, Emporium Treasure and Trash is still trading.