This strategy relies on the pub serving hot food and that service is the main part of its business activity.
Pubs are ‘drinking establishments’ which is Use Class A4.
A4 does not have Permitted Development rights for change of use. Some pubs are also protected by the locals as being an ‘asset of community value’. This doubly protects the pub’s demise, which is fair enough as there is currently 1 pub closing nearly every week which is terrible for the industry and more should be done about it, but that is a whole different topic.
Pubs that serve food are more accurately classed as restaurants. Restaurants are Class A3, and A3 does have permitted development rights.
Subject (as always with PD) to limitations and conditions, A3 can be changed to Class A2 (professional services eg solicitor or accountant) or Class A1 (retail, shop)
Then the magic happens.
A1(or A2) can be changed to 2 flats Use Class C3(not HMO) per A1(A2) unit. This is done using either, or both Class G and Class M. But unlike residential C3, there are no limitations on how far you can split A1(A2) into further subdivided units.
Consider this; Change the pub which is classed as a restaurant (A3) to a shop(A1) Then you can subdivide the A1 unit into several more A1 shop units. (do it reasonably; don’t create rabbit hutches!) Each A1 shop unit can have up to 2 flats (C3) over it using the Permitted Development Prior Notification process of Class G and/or Class M.
Depending on location, most councils don't like shops in rural areas, they prefer them in towns (bizarre I know, but there you go) So you can then apply with a formal planning application to change the ground floor shop to residential.
No building work needs to be carried out just the approvals where applicable. So the use of the pub could be changed to wholly residential.
But there’s more….. What if the pub has a carpark? Remember my post regarding creating a ‘Fall Back position'? Well, with residential use established you may have a better chance for even more residential units…..