Music Industry welcomes proposed changes to planning rules

London, UK 08/02/2107: The UK music industry has welcomed measures in the Government’s housing white paper which will be a major boost for the protection of live venues.

The Government’s plans will strengthen ‘agent of change’ safeguards for venues to prevent their activities being curbed when properties are built nearby or are redeveloped, according to UK Music (the umbrella body for the music industry), the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union.

Under the proposals, announced yesterday, the National Planning Policy Framework would be amended, emphasising planning policies and decisions should take account of existing venues, pubs and social clubs when new development is proposed in the same location.

This is designed to reduce the risk of restrictions being imposed on them as a result of possible future noise complaints from occupiers of new developments.

UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and Musicians’ Union believe this will help venues across the UK, particularly the grassroots venues which have seen a sharp decline in numbers in recent years and are a key outlet for emerging talent.

Jo Dipple, chief executive of UK Music, said: “UK Music has long argued that grassroots music venues need to be cherished as they are the incubators of music talent. That they are under threat has direct knock-on implications for the future of the sector, one that contributes £4.1 billion to the UK economy and supports thousands of jobs and businesses. Any new measure which acts to preserve, improve and protect these venues has the full support of our industry.”

Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, said: “This extends the impact of existing ‘agent of change’-style legislation and advice. It's another huge step forward for protecting music venues and ensures residents and musical culture can exist side-by-side in towns and cities.”

Horace Trubridge, Assistant General Secretary for the Musicians’ Union, said: “Grass roots music venues have for years been the starting place for so many of the UK’s now headline artists. Musicians need a thriving network of venues to be able to hone their craft, develop their skills and make a living. We applaud these proposals which add a further level of protection and recognise the importance of music venues to musicians, fans and communities.

The proposals in the white paper can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590043/Fixing_our_broken_housing_market_-_housing_white_paper.pdf

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