Bars across Britain will not be sold for development without the permission of local drinkers, the minister responsible for pubs will announce today.
Brandon Lewis MP hailed the decision to classify 100 locals as Assets of Community Value as a victory for the great British pub. The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) welcomed the Government's decision as a "much-needed extra layer of protection".
The initiative, introduced through the Localism Act, means a pub cannot be sold on without local drinkers being given up to six months to try to buy it.
"We have known for hundreds of years just how valuable our locals are," said Mr Lewis. "Not just as a place to grab a pint but also to the economies and communities of those they serve."
Pubs protected under the scheme include The Bull in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, and The Ivy House in south London. The current tenants of The Bull bought it after its previous owners, Greene King Brewery, sold it in 2012, after what they described as "genuine concern in the village about the future of our pub".