Society members will remember last year’s meeting with a CAMRA representative who explained that while pubs were
very important examples of vernacular architecture, they were often not valued and certainly not protected within the planning system.
One answer was to seek listed status for pubs of architectural merit and recently CAMRA had passed a milestone, with over 100 pubs already listed as Assets of Community Value. CAMRA Chief Executive Mike Benner said: ‘By listing their local, communities are ensuring that if the pub is under threat in the future, there is a much-needed extra layer of protection which ‘stops the clock’ should it be put up for sale.’
Pubs are now the most listed buildings in the UK; which gives councils greater ability to refuse planning applications for up to six months, thus providing community groups with sufficient time to explore more options to save a valued
local pub if it is for sale. Often communities raise the cash to purchase the pub and run it themselves.
Berwick is not short of iconic pubs. Wetherspoons occupies the already listed Corporation Academy; the austere but intriguing exterior of the already-listed Free Trade has just been refurbished .The curved glass windows of the Brewer’s Arms and the exuberant frontage of Barrels are surely worth protecting too. The Castle Hotel, just by the station, has a fascinating exterior that could as easily be found in the Home counties as in a Borders market town. These are not the only worthwhile examples, so keep an eye out for licensed premises that need protection.