Government introduces new legislation designed to protect small music venues

Music Venue Trust calls it 'a breakthrough for the UK's grassroots music venues'

New government legislation designed to protect small music venues will come into force next month (April).

The new regulations will require property developers planning to turn an office block into a residential building to seek prior approval from their local authority on the impact of noise on potential residents.

When an office building near a music venue is turned into a residential dwelling, new residents who complain about noise can threaten the venue’s future. In London, over a third of grassroots music venues are believed to have closed in the past eight years with Madame Jojo’s and The Buffalo Bar among the most high profile closures.

Mark Davyd, CEO of the Music Venue Trust, hailed the change in regulations as a “breakthrough for the UK’s grassroots music venues”.

“For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing,” he said. “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.”

Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music, also welcomed the change in legislation, saying: “If these new regulations have the desired effect, grassroots venues around the UK will have additional powers to help them survive and prosper.”

The Music Venue Trust was created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network.