Music venues safeguarded under change to planning law


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Planning decisions will need to take into account existing music venues under new legislation being introduced next month.

An amendment has been agreed to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2016 after campaign work by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

From April 6, planning authorities must have regard for existing music venues when looking at proposals to convert business buildings into residential space.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The decision will mean that local authorities will be obliged to factor in the presence of existing venues that have fallen by the wayside for too long.

“This development provides a measure of security for venues that are crucial breeding grounds for musicians and artists as well as vital employers and social outlets within their communities.

“It also gives us a compromise for towns and cities that are also in need of new housing, without undermining licensed hospitality.

“This is an encouraging step forward and a most welcome step towards introducing the Agent of Change principle.”

The Agent of Change principle would ensure that, when a music venue is already in place, the owners or developers of any new residential buildings nearby would be responsible for paying for their soundproofing. If a new music venue is introduced into a residential area, it would be responsible for its soundproofing.

Kate added: “Music venues are an integral part of the UK’s licensed hospitality sector and a keystone of the late-night offer in particular. We are rightly very proud of this country’s musical prowess but our best musicians need a place to perform and to hone their craft.”

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