Regulations coming into effect on 6 April mean developers and planning authorities will need to consider existing music venues when changing use of an office to residential building.
Until now, changes to office blocks have put pressure on music venues, with new nearby residents causing them to be more prone to noise complaints.
Make Some Noise
The legislation comes as a boost to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser’s Make Some Noise campaign, which has called on Government to protect established pubs and bars that are threatened with closure or strict licensing conditions due to noise complaints.
Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls said the legislation was an encouraging step forward for music venues which had “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,” she said.
“It also gives us a compromise for towns and cities that are also in need of new housing, without undermining licensed hospitality.”
UK Music, Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union welcomed legislation following a meeting with ministers at the Department for Communities & Local Government and with culture minister Ed Vaizey MP.
Culture, economy, vibrancy
Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd said:“This common sense move by the Government provides an opportunity for local authorities to use their powers to ensure that live music continues to play a vital economic, cultural and social role in our towns and cities.”
“For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing; it's always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by building great housing, enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony. The fight to protect, secure and improve music venues goes on.”
UK Music’s Bristol live music census published this month by Bucks New University found that 50% of the city’s music venues were affected by development, noise or planning issues.
According to the report these issues posed a direct threat to the future of Bristol’s vibrant ecosystem which generated £123m towards the local economy in 2015 and supported 927 jobs.
The UK live music sector as a whole contributed almost a billion pounds in GVA to the UK economy in 2014 and employs over 25,000 people across the country.
Details of the new regulations were revealed in a letter to UK Music CEO Jo Dipple. Ministers suggest that the new regulations will require developers to put in place noise mitigation measures where appropriate.
Jo Dipple, CEO, UK Music, said: “If these new regulations have the desired effect, grassroots venues around the UK will have additional powers to help them survive and prosper.”
The full legislation can be found here.