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Javid: Planning system to protect music venues

Words: Laura Edgar
Music venues to be protected / iStock-157169001

Housing secretary Sajid Javid has said that developers building new homes near music venues should be responsible for addressing noise issues.

The move aims to protect both music venues and their neighbours.

In the past, such venues, and community sports clubs, have had to make high-cost changes when new residents move into the area. Javid said he is committed to working with the music industry to strengthen planning policy.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be clarified to include a specific mention of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle. It is due to be consulted on in the spring.

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 long-standing 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.”

Last week (10 January), the House of Commons gave its approval to the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill, which would require property developers to take account of pre-existing businesses, such as music venues, before moving forward with a project.

John Spellar MP, who brought the bill to the House, said it is “designed to protect existing music venues from closure or crippling costs arising from the new development of new residential properties in their vicinity, especially over questions of noise”.

Its second reading is scheduled to take place tomorrow (19 January).

Image credit | iStock