Press Release: "Tour of Destruction" visits closed city pubs
On 13 April 2012, Cambridge & District CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) is taking a "tour
of destruction" to highlight the huge recent losses of Cambridge pubs.
No less than 23 city pubs have called last orders for the final time since 2007. At that time,
Cambridge had 105 pubs - it now has 82, so 24% of the city's pubs have gone in just five
Branch Pubs Officer, Paul Ainsworth, said
"Most closures have been of community pubs
outside the city centre. Great swathes of suburban Cambridge are now badly served with
pubs or have none at all. Our Tour of Destruction will visit all 23 closed pubs and we'll raise
an empty glass at each one to pay tribute to what were mostly well-loved community
Mr. Ainsworth blames the pub carnage mostly on the short-term greed of those who own
the buildings. He said
"the majority of these pubs were owned by Greene King, Punch
Taverns and Enterprise Inns. In most cases, the pubs occupied large sites which are
attractive to developers looking to cash in on the strong local demand for more housing.
It's a pity that people living in these new houses often won't have a local pub to go to".
The City Council does not have planning policies which protect pubs from change of use
so until recently planning consent has usually been granted. The scale of losses has,
however, caused the Council to review its policies and consultants are currently conducting
a detailed survey of the remaining pubs as part of that review. CAMRA worries though how
many pubs will be left by the time the policy comes into force. The closure rate seems to
be accelerating with 11 losses since the start of 2011 alone.