The information below provides further details about when evidence is required, what information this document should include, how to submit it to us, and where you can find further information.

When is marketing or use viability evidence required?

Marketing or use viability evidence should accompany applications involving the loss of:

What information should be included in marketing and use viability evidence?

Marketing evidence should cover a reasonable period of time as set out under the relevant Local Plan policy, Neighbourhood Plan policy or in Camden Planning Guidance. The site should be marketed at a realistic price or rent, to demonstrate there is no longer a demand. If you intend to use viability as a reason to justify failure to meet a policy requirement, you must also provide viability evidence to support your application.

For loss of community facilities (Camden Local Plan 2017 policy C2)

Where it is considered that a facility is no longer required, the Council will expect the following information:

  • a survey providing details of other local community uses to determine whether there is a need in the locality (within a 400m radius), which could reasonably be accommodated in the existing premises, including details of consultation with public and community service providers to establish their needs and accommodation requirements, and
  • a marketing report, demonstrating that there is no demand for a community use despite continuous marketing at a reasonable rate for a period of 12 months. The sales price/rent should reflect rates generally paid by community groups or voluntary organisations and be agreed with Camden Council. 
This should also include:
  •           copies of the marketing literature, and
  •           expressions of interest received, with full reasons given as to why any offer was not accepted.
 
  • viability evidence, demonstrating that the premise is no longer viable in their existing use (which considers the ability of the community use to continue to trade) and there is no alternative community use meeting the needs of the local area.

You can find further details and guidance in Camden Planning Guidance on Community uses, leisure facilities and pubs.

For loss of cultural and leisure facilities (Camden Local Plan 2017 policy C3)

The information submitted should include as a minimum:

  • a marketing exercise; the Council will need to agree in advance:
  • the range of uses; and
  • the value of these uses (the cost of the independent valuer is to be paid by the applicant).
  • viability evidence which considers the ability of the site to continue to accommodate an alternative cultural or leisure use.

For replacement facilities applicants must demonstrate these are the same standard or better than those lost, and that the new location will be easily reached by existing users of the facility.

You can find further details and guidance in Camden Planning Guidance on Community uses, leisure facilities and pubs.

For loss of pubs (Camden Local Plan 2017 policy C4)

The information submitted should include as a minimum:

  • a community survey (unless the pub is included on the Council’s register of Assets of Community Value);
  • information regarding other public houses (within 400m of the subject premises), including their facilities and services in the area served by the pub, details of any licenses, and barriers that could affect the use of the pub by people with reduced mobility;
  • a marketing exercise, covering a period of at least 12 months, at offer prices consistent with the current pub use and for alternative community uses; and
  • viability evidence which considers the ability of the pub to continue to trade.

Community survey

Where the public house is not included on the Council’s register of Assets of Community Value, you should submit evidence of local consultation that explores the community role of the public house. The consultation exercise should include the following:

  • The proposed engagement strategy and questionnaire should be agreed with the Council in advance.
  • As a minimum, all residents and businesses within a 400 m catchment of the pub should be sent the questionnaire with a freepost envelope provided. A smaller catchment may be appropriate where there are significant barriers to movement, such as railway lines, in which case an alternative catchment area should be agreed with the Council.
  • Additionally, copies of the questionnaire and envelope should be provided to local libraries and other local community buildings. An option should also be provided to complete the questionnaire on-line.
  • The consultation period should not be less than 28 days.
  • Applicants should identify and consult with key stakeholders within the area including Council ward members and the neighbourhood forum where one exists.
  • There will be no requirement to include responses where an address has not been provided.
  • A report should be submitted with the planning application setting out the findings of the community survey.

The minimum requirements set out above for the community engagement strategy are unlikely to be effective when considering a public house that supports a ‘protected community’ because the pub’s customers may extend over a much wider geographical area. In such cases, a suitable bespoke engagement strategy will need to be developed.

Marketing exercise

The marketing evidence must meet all of the following (as noted in Camden Planning Guidance Community uses, leisure facilities, and pubs):

  • The marketing period should be a minimum of 12 months.
  • Both leasehold and freehold options for the pub should be made available. These should be without a ‘tie’ requiring the purchase of drinks through the vendor and without restrictive covenants that would prevent other pub operators or community groups from taking over the premises and trading it as a pub.
  • The pub should be marketed in a condition that allows the premises to continue functioning as a pub. The bar, kitchen and toilet facilities should therefore be retained for the duration of the marketing exercise.
  • Alternative community uses should be facilities for which there is currently a need in the local area.
  • Details should be provided to the Council of the company/person who undertook the marketing exercise.
  • The Council will need to agree the value of the pub. We will seek a valuation by a RICS accredited valuer with expertise in the licensed leisure sector who is independent of the selling agent, which the applicant is expected to fund.
  • Applicants should submit to the Council full details of the methods used to market the property, including copies of advertisements in the local and trade press, details of adverts placed on websites, use of mailshots, sales literature, e-mails, use of specialised licensed trade agents, etc..
  • The Council will expect a ‘for sale’ / ‘for rent’ signboard to be erected on the exterior of the property for the duration of the marketing exercise unless it specifically agrees otherwise. Dated photographs of the signboard are to be provided to the Council.
  • Details of all approaches and offers should be provided to the Council together with full reasons as to why any offer has not been accepted. The Council will require confirmation of the names and contact details of all parties expressing an interest or viewing the premises to allow their identity and veracity to be checked.
  • The value of the pub should relate to the business in its entirety and not to just parts of it, for example the building without its beer garden.

Viability evidence

The above marketing exercise should be accompanied by a viability report, which should meet the following requirements:

  • The last three full years of audited accounts should be submitted to the Council.
  • The barrelage (number of casks of draft beers and ciders) over the same three years should be provided if available.
  • Evidence of the amount of ‘dry rent’ (the rent paid for use of the premises) and the amount of ‘wet rent’ (the difference between what the pub’s operator is required to pay the landlord for their draught supplies and what they would have to pay to a cash and carry free of tie) if applicable.
  • Details provided of all reasonable efforts made to preserve the continuing operation of the facility as a public house and how this has affected the pub’s trading performance. Examples of initiatives or proposals include:
  • Improving the existing hot / cold food or drinks offer, for example by adding a kitchen and serving food with or without a dining area
  • Providing events or entertainment beyond what is currently offered
  • Adoption of alternative pub ‘formats’, themes or styles
  • Changes to operating hours
  • Attracting new communities/users
  • Refurbishment or expansion of the pub
  • Providing B&B accommodation
  • Setting up of a micro-brewery
  • Community management and ownership of the pub
  • Other management models
  • Implemented changes should be evidenced, wherever possible, through the provision of signed, written statements by the manager/owner, correspondence with customers/suppliers/staff; invoices for works carried out and dated photographs for the comparison of facilities.
  • A signed, written statement from the manager/owner to confirm that the public house has been operated on a positive basis to sustain its continuing use.
  • Explanation of why it is not economically viable to retain the premises as a pub or an alternative community use for which there is a need in the local area. All feasible options for retaining the public house in the medium term should be thoroughly examined, i.e. over a period of not less than five years.

You can find more details and guidance in Camden Planning Guidance on Community uses, leisure facilities and pubs.

For loss of shops outside of centres (Camden Local Plan 2017 policy TC3 and Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan policy CC4)

The information submitted should include as a minimum:

  • demonstration of adequate alternative provision within 5 – 10 minute walking distance,
  • evidence demonstrating that the current use is not viable (including history of vacancy and prospect of finding an alternative occupier).

For applications within the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Area you should submit a marketing report (minimum period of 12 months) and a viability assessment, demonstrating why the existing use is unviable. Where such reports are submitted the applicant will be required to pay for an independent review of the assessments, if requested by the local planning authority.

Secondary shopping frontages within the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan area

To avoid vacant premises, where proposals will result in less than 60% of premises being in A1 retail use class, or more than two consecutive premises being in non-A1 retail use you should submit:

  • evidence of marketing (minimum period of 12 months),
  • a viability assessment, demonstrating why the existing use is unviable.

Where such reports are submitted the applicant will be required to pay for an independent review of the assessments, if requested by the local planning authority.
 

Primary and secondary shopping frontages within the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan area (Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan policy EC1)

The change of use from Class A or B1a to residential at first floor or higher above shops will not be supported unless it can be shown that there is a long history of vacancy.

You should submit:

  • evidence of marketing covering a minimum period of 24 months. The premises should be marketed at a realistic price, reflecting local market rents and the condition of the premise.

For loss of employment use (Camden Local Plan 2017 policy E2)

You should submit:

  • evidence of marketing over two years,
  • a viability assessment which considers the ability of the current or alternative employment use to continue.

You can find more guidance in

  • Camden Planning Guidance
  • on employment sites and business premises.

    How do I submit marketing and use viability evidence?

    If you apply for planning permission online using the Planning Portal, you will be given the opportunity to upload your marketing and use viability evidence after you have completed the relevant application forms. Before uploading any files, please read our guidance notes for submitting electronic files with planning applications.

    Guidance notes for submitting electronic files with planning applications (PDF).

    If you choose to submit a paper-based application instead, you will need to provide four copies of the evidence along with four copies of the relevant application forms.

    Where can I find out further information?

    For further information on preparing and submitting marketing and use viability evidence, please see the following links below: