The future of grassroots music venues in the UK has received a massive boost after the government backed new plans to protect them from developers.
The ‘Agent of Change’ principle sees the government committing to the introduction of a law that will see developers forced to take account of the impact that any new project could have on pre-existing businesses.
The law was initially tabled in the House of Commons by former Labour MP John Spellar, and has received the backing of Housing Secretary Sajid Javid
“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”, Javid told MusicWeek.
“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.”
The ‘Agent of Change’ motion was also backed by the likes of Billy Bragg and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, who teamed up in Westminster last week to pledge their support for music venues.
“I am delighted that the Government have listened to grassroots venues and campaigners that have supported the safeguards contained in my Planning Bill,” said Spellar.
“This announcement is fantastic news. While we need to iron out the final details when considering the draft framework, there is a real hope that these new provisions could be law by the summer.”
Last year, popular Bristol venue Thekla announced that it was fighting for its future, amid fears that the development of new flats could force the Thekla to comply with noise control regulations that could ultimately force it to shut its doors.