The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the Government to stick to its guns on planning reform to make it easier for pubs to modify their premises. The comments come in the BBPA’s submission for the consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework, where the group warns that under the current system, pubs and pub companies are often subject to costly delays when attempting to make often fairly small expansions and alterations to outlets. The BBPA’s submission includes: * Agreeing to the presumption in favour of sustainable development, arguing that pubs and brewing are clearly sustainable as they provide 983,000 jobs and over £13bn of wages directly and indirectly. * A call for planning policies to pro-actively support the development of tourism businesses. * Clarifying the fact that communties aren’t able to hold up developments later down the line if they fail to engage at the consultation stage. * Calling for the Government to look again at the use classes in planning law. For example, combing A4 and A3 to form a single Hospitality class, rather than separating pubs and restaurants. * Welcoming moves to improve the transport infrastructure that is vital to tourism. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “On planning, the Government is right to pursue a reforming agenda. It is a critical component of a growth strategy for Britain. We need a ‘can do’ culture from councils – and this means a presumption in favour of approving improvements or expansions of small and sustainable businesses like breweries or pubs, whilst of course taking on board legitimate development control concerns.” “Time wasted while local authorities ponder minor changes means lost revenue for these businesses, which have been enduring an ever increasing burden of high taxes and red tape in recent years. For a sector on which almost one million jobs depend, this matters to the whole economy.”