A particularly agonising possibility for failed pubs is that they will be in planning limbo land. In this set of circumstances local people tend to be vociferous in wanting to keep the pub, even if they don’t often drink there themselves, and the local council supports them by refusing to give planning permission for conversion into homes, or whatever. The publican or pub company argues that the pub is not viable and that nobody wants to buy it as a pub.But it’s very hard to deny that, sad though this toll of closures may be, the underlying cause is a long-term fall in demand that has rendered more and more pubs unviable.
And so there is a standoff. The building is in the worst of all worlds, a pub that is not a pub, and not really anything else either. If it is not occupied, it will deteriorate, with every day an incremental decrease in the chances of bringing it back to life successfully.
Empty buildings are vulnerable buildings, and a few closed pubs have been burned down.
The picture is of the interestingly-named All Labour in Vain at Horsehay in Telford.