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BBPA responds to London Mayor’s ‘Culture and the night-time economy’ consultation


  • Article 4 directions damaging for pubs and no longer necessary
  • Welcome for ‘agent of change’ principle to protect pubs
  • Late Night Levies counterproductive – focus instead on partnership, says BBPA

The British Beer & Pub Association has responded the London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘Culture and the night-time economy’ consultation, welcoming the Mayor’s support for pubs and the wider night-time economy, also highlighting key areas of concern.

In a key feature of its response, the BBPA argues against the use of Article 4 directions that can restrict even minor alterations to premises, citing changes to national planning legislation that render such measures unnecessary.

The BBPA says that the imposition of Article 4 on all pubs in an area, as recently seen in Wandsworth, can create huge inflexibility and additional costs for pubs, many of which are small independent businesses and are often the business owner’s only major asset.

London’s pubs play an essential role in London’s late-night and tourism economy, and represent a rich part of London’s cultural heritage. The BBPA welcomes, therefore, the ‘agent of change’ principle, putting the onus on developers when it comes to addressing any issues caused by new residential development next to or above existing pubs.

The Association’s response also maintains that Late Night Levies are counterproductive, and have proved to be a damaging new tax on local businesses.

A recent report by the House of Lords recommended their abolition, and the BBPA sets out that partnership working between councils, police and local businesses remains the most effective option in ensuring safety in the night-time economy.

BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, comments:

“London has over 3,900 pubs, and the vibrant beer and pub sector adds £3.5 billion to the economy, and provides jobs for 92,000 Londoners, many of whom are young people, so the Mayor’s support for our industry is very welcome.

“Our response highlights the damaging trend of imposing Article 4 directions on pubs, a measure made unnecessary by recent changes in planning law, and our support for BIDs, instead of Late Night Levies.

“London’s pubs would also welcome further support around business rates, as many pubs in the Capital have seen huge rises in their bills. We are calling for full-scale reform of the system, as pubs are paying far more than their fair share.”

The BBPA's response is available to read in full here.

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