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Breakthrough Victory for the Music Venue Trust
Today, UK Music, Music Venue Trust and Musicians’ Union welcome new Government legislation to protect music venues in planning law following a meeting with Ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government, alongside Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey MP.
The Music Venue Trust has been powering the campaign to protect independent venues from closure following breaching of noise regulations. The springboard of the music industry, music venues have been baring the consequences of laws in effect since 2010 to allow construction for residential use to occur on spaces such as car parks, offices or disused buildings without planning permission, in order to deal with housing shortages and generate economic growth. With the addition of these new builds, venues are currently expected to pay out for improvements to reduce noise emissions, despite having often chosen such a place to set up previously due to the lack of residential buildings in the surrounding area. Venues also face the threat of closure if noise complaints are made. Under the current UK law, any noise pollution in the area surrounding a venue is the responsibility of the venue not the residents or developers, regardless of which party was responsible for the change in situation.
However, an announcement from the Music Venue Trust claims a victory for music venues. From 6 April 2016, local planning authorities will have to consider noise impacts on new residents from existing businesses under an amended permitted development right. Although these proposals don´t go as far as a full Agent of Change law for Music Venues, this is a huge breakthrough for the campaign, supported by artists and fans alike. The preservation of smaller, independent venues is a crucial part in nurturing and supporting Britain’s live music scene, giving the grass roots a chance and place to grow. It is also important to maintain at a local level, with such venues often being iconic places in the local scene, and rearing some of the best artists and bands of today.
Mark Davyd, Founder and CEO of the Music Venue Trust, said of the trust recent victory,
“We warmly welcome this 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. 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.”
Avid supporter of the Music Venue Trust, Frank Turner also commented via Facebook on the breakthrough,
“Absolutely delighted with this major breakthrough in the grassroots music venue campaign I´ve been involved with. Major props to the folks at the MVT who have fought tooth and nail for this basic, common sense change. Onwards and upwards.”
Hopefully this victory is the start of something great for the Music Venue Trust, and is just the win they need to stay motivated for their excellent cause.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 was presented to Parliament on 11th March 2016 and will come into effect from the 6th April 2016. The new regulations can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/…/3…/pdfs/uksi_20160332_en.pdf
For more information, visit http://musicvenuetrust.com/