Wet-led Town Pub hit by Recession - Urban pub on outskirts of city: Owned by a couple in their 60's who had been at the pub for 16 years, this was once a vibrant and successful business. However, since the smoking ban and the new leisure centre opposite with funky bars and restaurants trade had dipped dramatically over the last two years. The owners had built up a solid following of mainly cask ale drinkers and there was no food offer. Critically there was no outside trade area so most of the smokers, who represented a staggering 65% of the regulars, drifted off to one of many pubs in the vicinity. Now our couple were ready to retire but the market had fallen away and they could not sell the pub at a realistic price as turnover was incommensurate with the asking price which in itself was fair considering the extent of the bricks and mortar. After 9 months on the market we were called in to give our opinion. We built our report around the effect of the national trend on the business, supermarket opposite, new bars nearby, lack of a smoking facility and we carried out a survey amongst the locals. After 4 weeks intensive work the report was ready and a site meeting was arranged with the local planning officer. Despite opposition from CAMRA and some locals, who never used the pub in any case, the application was successful and (nearly) everyone was happy.