A SURVEY by the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) found that 50 London pubs have been changed into supermarkets in the last two years.
The research was carried out by CAMRA member Roger Warhurst, who runs Capital Pubcheck, and showed that the trend is increasing. In 2010, just nine disused pubs were converted, 19 last year and 22 so far this year.
There are at least 15 under threat, including the North Pole in North Kensington and Crown and Sceptre in Feltham.
Most recently ,The Warren, Hounslow – which had boarded up for several months – was converted into a Tesco Express this summer.
Mr Warhurst said the problem was not contained to failing pubs.
Writing in CAMRA’s London Drinker magazine, he said: "Customers and staff often only find out a pub is closing at the last minute when it’s too late to mount an effective campaign to save it. There are also suspicions that pubs are sometimes deliberately run down with temporary management prior to disposal to help reduce potential local objections."
The Old Fire Station, in Shepherd’s Bush Road, Hammersmith, was closed without warning to customers in September, after Sainsbury’s out bid leaseholders Antic at auction.
The historic and popular after-work venue remains closed, but shows how even financially successful pubs cannot escape the cull.
At the time, manager Elliot Mayhall said: “It was all very sudden. We were doing well and then it was over.”
Paul Charlton, the secretary of CAMRA West London, said the major problem is a loophole in planning laws.
"This problem appears to be particularly acute in the west London area. The recently published national planning policy framework didn’t close a couple of major loopholes in planning consent to change a pub into a restaurant, shop or some kinds of office. Nor do you need it to demolish a pub which isn’t a listed building, or in a conservation area."
CAMRA has warned that pubs are also being converted into shops, restaurants and betting shops. It led the first campaign of its kind to successfully see the Ivy House in Peckham statutorily listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’.
The Red Lion in Greenford Broadway was bought this summer by property developer Clearview Homes and demolished after 80 years.