Lewisham councillors are considering adopting a “golden standard” of pub protection policy which could be the strongest in the UK.

The council’s sustainable development select committee has been looking into pub protection locally, with the number of pubs declining overall.

The number of pubs in the borough decreased by around half from the early 2000s to 2015, but despite numbers picking up again there is still concern boozers are under threat from development.

Cllr Liam Curran said if adopted by the council, the recommendations would be the “strongest pub protection rules in London if not the rest of the UK.”

It would see automatic protection from redevelopment for all pubs built in the 20th century and before, and ensure any new development does not interfere with the pub, including through noise restrictions.

Cllr Patrick Codd said the recommendations would also help ensure developers stick to their obligations when building near pubs.

“When developments arrive, we will be assured at planning meeting that things are happening, and then sure enough a year later it hasn’t been done thoroughly and the pub or music venue will still be in trouble because there will be a whole load of new residents who are getting noise at night and can’t sleep,” he said. 

“That is why we need to spell it out as much as we can.”

Cllr Curran said the recommendations were drawn from the London Plan, the development strategy from the Mayor of London.

In the plan, pubs are protected from development where they have a social, cultural, economic or heritage value – but this clause was often overlooked at planning meetings.

By adopting the recommendations into the local plan, it would ensure planning decisions take them into account.

“This is quite unequivocal and clear,” he added.

The recommendations will now be considered by the mayor and cabinet and overview and scrutiny committee before it is adopted at full council.

Work has also begun to review all local pubs to see if they should be considered for local heritage listing.