More than 200 pubs have been converted into supermarket convenience stores since January 2010, according to CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.

The group is calling for the government to close “arcane” planning loopholes that allow developers to convert pubs into supermarkets. It said that since 2010, 130 pubs had been converted into convenience stores by Tesco, with 22 by Sainsbury’s, and a further 54 by companies such as The Co-operative, Asda and Costcutter.

A further 45 British pubs were under imminent threat of closure and conversion, CAMRA added.

“Weak and misguided planning laws and the predatory acquisition of valued pub sites by large supermarket chains, coupled with the willingness of pub owners to cash in and sell for development, are some of the biggest threats to the future of Britain’s social fabric”, said chief executive Mike Benner.

‘Pubs are being targeted for development by supermarket chains due to non-existent planning controls allowing supermarkets to ride roughshod over the wishes of the local community. At a time when 18 pubs are closing every week this is damaging a great British institution.”