- The changes will come into effect on April 6th.
New legislation that protects existing music venues from residential developments will come into effect in the UK this April.
Local planning authorities will now have to consider the noise impacts on residential developments located close to music venues. In a statement, the Music Venue Trust says that in recent years "permitted development rights have been extended and allow certain developments to take place without the need to go through the full planning system." Under the new legislation, developers are now required to seek approval on noise complaints when office buildings are converted into residential properties. "In short," the Trust says, "you can't change offices to flats any more if a music venue is nearby. Developers will need to work with the local authority and the music venue to ensure that live music is protected."
Though the new law doesn't go as far as to introduce the "agent of change" principle recommended in a 2015 report on London's nightlife, the Trust is calling the legislation "a huge breakthrough for the UK's grassroots music venues."
"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," says Mark Davyd of Music Venue Trust. "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. This is a major victory for the UK's music venues and music fans. The fight to protect, secure and improve them goes on."
A number of venues have come under threat from property developers in recent times, including South London spots Canavans and Bussey Building. You can read more about the legislation here.