UK Music calls for planning change to protect venues

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Dugher pushes for ‘agent of change’ rules to stop closures

UK Music is calling on Parliament to change planning laws to save music venues.

Former Labour culture spokesman Michael Dugher, who now heads up th national music lobby group, says it would take only a ‘small change’ to protect music venues from closure.

The so-called statutory “agent of change” provision would mean that if new homes or offices are built near pre-existing businesses like live music venues, the onus is on the developer to make sure solutions are in place to mitigate the impact of any new development on those businesses.

This would prevent new homeowners and officer occupiers from using planning regulations on noise to shut down live music venues when they move into neighbourhoods where existing live music venues have been operating. In the last decade, more than 35% of grassroots venues in the UK have been lost, says UK Music.

The Government in Wales has announced plans to update Welsh national planning policy to include an explicit reference to the “agent of change” principle.  Planning policy guidelines will also allow the designation of areas of cultural significance for music through development plans.

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