The Liberal Democrats will pledge to force developers to submit planning permission before a pub can be converted to another use or demolished in its General Election manifesto, according to MP Greg Mulholland.

Last month the Government said it would introduce legislation meaning planning permission would be required to change the use of or demolish ACV-listed pubs, but campaigners are calling on this to be strengthened to cover all pubs.

Speaking at a debate on ‘pubs and planning legislation’ in the House of Commons yesterday, Mulholland – MP for Leeds North West and Parliamentary Save the Pub Group chairman - said: “This very simple change is current Liberal Democrat party policy and is already in our pre-manifesto.

“I have not yet checked the manifesto, but I hope that it is included, as we were told it would be. It is for CAMRA and other organisations to challenge all the parties to put pro-pub policies in their manifestos.”

He added that research into every ACV-listed property under Leeds City Council showed that an average assessment and approval of a listing costs around £1,070 in officers’ time. He said while DCLG guidance states that on average a nomination should take 8.3 hours, officers from the local authority estimated it takes twice as long.

He said: “That, of course, does not include the time it may take to consider a formal review of a decision, any resource required if a review should go to a tribunal stage, or any time to deal with administering the process when an owner informs of the intention to dispose of an asset. That is without even the possibility of legal challenge, which is quite likely.”

He added: “To list all the valued pubs in the country, therefore, would cost millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”

He said the Government should make it possible for communities to submit multiple applications.

“If there are 15 pubs in a town, 10 of them might be valued. If so, let the community list all 10. It is obvious and simple and would save local authorities money,” he said.

Bristol North West MP and pub campaigner Charlotte Leslie said New Economics Foundation research shows that local economies benefit twice as much from a pound spent in a pub rather than a supermarket. She added that the campaign to protect all pubs is “not about commercial viability and protecting those things that are not commercially viable, but simply about allowing communities to have their say when there is a change, be it commercially viable or otherwise”.

Communities minister Stephen Williams said that the Government’s new planning regulations “will come into place on 6 April 2015”, after confirming last week that it would be laid in Parliament before the General Election.