Music industry campaign prompts action from Government to help protect UK music venues
New regulations, coming into effect on 6 April 2016, mean developers are now required to seek prior approval on noise impacts before a change of use from an office to residential building can be carried out. Recent permitted development right extensions that have allowed changes of use to take place have put pressure on music venues making them prone to noise complaints from residents once they move into the area. In London alone 35% of grassroots music venues have closed in the past eight years.
The new regulations will amend the permitted development right.
Details of the new regulations were revealed in a letter to UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. Ministers suggest that the new regulations will encourage local authorities to require applicants under the permitted development right to put in place noise mitigation measures where appropriate.
The Ministers’ letter outlines steps Government intends to take including notifying chief planning officers of the change to permitted development rights and re-emphasising updated planning guidance on noise that highlights the potential of new residential developments on live music venues. Whilst these steps do not constitute the introduction of an Agent of Change principle, the new regulations mark a step-change in planning law.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 was presented to Parliament on 11 March 2016 and will come into effect from the 6 April 2016. The new regulations can be found here.
Commenting on the amendment, Horace Trubridge, Assistant General Secretary, Musicians’ Union said: “We are delighted to see that the Government has responded to our calls for action to protect grassroots live music venues. Hopefully, this will ensure a brighter future for this vital resource”.