The government is officially adopting the 'agent of change' principle
Live music venues and nightclubs today welcomed news that the UK government is officially recognising the 'agent of change' principle in the new National Planning Policy Framework, which is due to be published in the spring. This means that if developers build new properties close to such venues, it is their responsibility to soundproof them properly - not the venue's responsibility to keep the noise down.
The UK's Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, announced the news yesterday, saying: "Music venues play a vital role in our communities, bringing people together and contributing to the local economy and supporting the country’s grass roots music culture. I have always thought it unfair that the burden is on long-standing music venues to solve noise issues when property developers choose to build nearby."
Michael Dugher, chief executive of UK Music - an industry body which has long campaigned for the agent of change principle to be adopted - said: "We are delighted the government is supporting agent of change and strengthening the rules to protect grassroots music venues ... Music makes a huge contribution to our country, bringing enjoyment to millions and contributing £4.4 billion to our economy. Supporting grassroots venues is key to maintaining the UK’s vibrant and diverse music scene."
UK Music's detailed response to the government's decision can be read in full here.
While the decision won't necessarily help venues that have already come under fire from new neighbours over noise levels, it will hopefully prevent other venues experiencing the same issues in future.