Council set to protect pubs and put brakes on fast food expansion

Published: Friday 26th September 14

Wandsworth Council has unveiled new planning guidance for the borough designed to protect local pubs from redevelopment and tackle the excessive spread of fast food takeaways.

Wandsworth pubs and bars: the new planning guidance is designed to protect them

Last night’s community services committee gave its backing to the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and agreed it should be put out to a four week public consultation beginning on October 17.

If the public back the new guidance it could come into force in March next year, giving the council new powers to protect pubs and stop new hot fast food outlets opening.

Deputy council leader Jonathan Cook said:

“Across the country we are seeing well loved and successful pubs being converted into a new breed of small supermarkets. The people of Wandsworth have made it very clear how much they value their local pubs and we want to introduce planning guidance designed to protect them.

“When our new SPD comes into force we will have the powers we need to refuse planning applications to convert pubs into shops. Our next step would be to remove permitted development rights from every pub of heritage or community value in Wandsworth so changes to these building and the way they are used would need permission from the council.

“We have also proposed new limits on the concentration of fast food takeaways, both in our town centres and around schools. This is an important step in tacking obesity as well as maintaining the balance of different shops, pubs and food outlets our high streets need to remain attractive and popular.

“We are also proposing limits on the number of betting shops but will have to wait until after the Government has confirmed changes to their planning classification. Once we know the outcome of this process we will review our approach to controlling their spread."

A report on the proposed changes is available on the council’s website as well as a copy of the draft SPD. They were backed by last night's community services committee and go before the executive group for final approval on October 6.

 View comments on this article

Comments on this news item have been closed.

If you wish to complain about a comment, contact us at

Recent comments

This is fantastic news. Pubs are closing all over London without a backward glance, losing historical and social landmarks. We need to retain our heritage otherwise all that will be left will be betting shops, supermarkets and flats without a thought of how local services and transport links will be affected. Well done WBC for taking these measures. Please protect these assets for all to enjoy in the future.
Anna Harrington

23 October 2014

I agree with the concerns mentioned over the proposed development of the Prince of Wales / Settle Inn on Battersea Bridge Road. Additional concerns are (i) the likely negative effect on the supermarket, butcher and chemist in the nearby parade of shops, and (ii) how Tesco's normally outsize lorries will deliver to it without blocking either the main road or Surrey Lane or both. It seems a wholly inappropriate site for a Tesco that is not needed. If there has to be another Tesco in the area, it should be on Battersea Park Road.
Ralph Cox

7 October 2014

I would like to see the proposed conversion of The Prince of Wales Pub,(junction of Prince of Wales Drive and Battersea Bridge Road ) into a Tesco stopped. I have concerns about the conversion & loss of a heritage site being replaced with a non sympathetic food store. Whilst not opposed to the supermarket chain this is not an appropriate site for several reasons. My main concern is that the building will be all but destroyed with significant windows, bars and internal fittings removed to make way for a standard plastic fronted shop. Whilst the site needs to be re developed, Tesco is not the right fit for the site.
K Buchanan-Gregory

7 October 2014

tooting in particular at the moment is up and coming with lots of students with loans to burn asap and young professionals with good jobs-but we are losing pubs and amenities-please consider this and oppose most closure/change of use applications
mick gilfrin

6 October 2014

I support Wandsworth Council taking greater control over the mix of shops in the borough. This specific action to protect pubs over fast food is a good start.
Carol Rahn

5 October 2014

I fully support this action as Pubs make for places where local communities can interact, strangers meet, talk and leave perhapes knowing a bit more about the others.Lives interact where nothing is asked of them but a drink,a juice ,a glass of wine a moment to leave the outside world behind. To many areas have lost their pub and so lost that micro community of the surrounding streets. Fast food outlets,,fashion shops,restaurants and mini markets all are fine and have their place in our lives today ; but they only bring an individuals in and send them right back out again. Pubs make us slow down, spend time, Think, , discuss, sit silently, laugh but be part of our community.
A E Van Benschoten

4 October 2014

I strongly agree with this proposal
C McCracken

3 October 2014

I strongly agree with the Council (for once)
Victor Condon

3 October 2014

If the council is so keen to set new limits on the number of fast food takeaways in town centres and around schools to 'tackle obesity...(and) maintain the balance of different shops, pubs and food outlets our high streets', then why was a recent planning application for yet another new fast food place in Balham town centre recently given the green light, despite nearly 20 objections from local residents on the grounds of (amongst other things), anti-social behaviour and litter which will affect the attractiveness of the street? Utter rubbish. The council planning teams do what the hell they want it seems to me.

3 October 2014

Doesn't quite ring true given the plans to re develop the Settle Inn on Battersea Bridge Road into a Tesco???
James Edwards

3 October 2014