The Localism Bill, which includes new powers to grant local people the right to buy pubs, has received royal assent. The new Localism Act also gives councils more discretion over business rate relief, but it has been the right-to-buy powers that have caused most controversy in the pub industry. There had been concerns that forcing landlords to consult with local communities before pubs are sold would hold-up transactions and cause unnecessary red tape. However, a British Beer & Pub Association-backed amendment, approved by the Lords last month, granted an exemption to outlets that are being sold as a “going concern”.