Victory for local music venues as government backs ‘Agent of Change’ principle for new housing developments

Housing developers building new homes near music venues should be responsible for addressing noise issues in a move to protect both music venues and their neighbours, the Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid, has said.

With late-night venues and community sports clubs being forced to make high cost changes when new residents move into the area, Mr Javid has committed to working closely with the music industry to help strengthen planning policy.

The National Planning Policy Framework, which Local Authorities are legally bound to comply with, will now be clarified to include detailed reference to the ‘Agent of Change’ principle and will be consulted on in the Spring.

The move means developers will be responsible for identifying and solving any sound problems, if granted permission to build, in order to avoid music venues, community and sports clubs and churches running into expensive issues as a result of complaints from new neighbours.

Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

‘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 longstanding music venues to solve noise issues when property developers choose to build nearby. That’s why I consulted on this in February last year as part of the housing white paper. I am pleased to finally have an opportunity to right this wrong and also give more peace of mind to new residents moving into local properties.’

UK Music Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, said:

‘We are delighted the government is supporting Agent of Change and strengthening the rules to protect grassroots music venues. This is excellent news for the live music industry. 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, as well as ensuring we have the talent pipeline to maintain Britain’s position as a global force in music. With strong backing from the music industry, including UK Music, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been working with John Spellar MP following his Ten Minute Rule Bill on this subject to ensure that planning policy reflects what the industry needs.’

Header photo © UK Music

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