Plans to help protect live music venues

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

A new whitepaper has  been released and is focusing on how to fix ‘our broken housing market’. Within the report, the publication proposes that planning policies should take more notice of existing music venues. “We propose to amend the Framework to emphasise that planning policies and decisions should take account of existing businesses and other organisations, such as churches, community pubs, music venues and sports clubs, when locating new development nearby and, where necessary, to mitigate the impact of noise and other potential nuisances arising from existing development,” reads the whitepaper.

“This will help mitigate the risk of restrictions or possible closure of existing businesses and other organisations due to noise and other complaints from occupiers of new developments.” The new whitepaper also states that existing businesses wanting to grow should not have “unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in nearby land uses since they were established”.

This is great news for grassroots and bigger venues alike, many of which are likely to have experienced difficulties on concerns about how noise impacts new developments in their area. It’s not just pubs and music venues that will benefit from the National Planning Policy Framework. More musical instrument retailers across the UK are upping their game by extended their retail store to include areas able to accommodate live music and performances.

It’s safe to say there’s probably a fair few retailers around the UK that could build impressive live sound stages, but haven’t so far due to the concerns about how they will affect new housing developments. In which case, this new whitepaper should be a welcome relief. The live music scene has been suffering in recent years, with closures of venues up and down the UK. While some have succumbed to financial issues, others have been forced out of business by stringent noise restrictions.

Without places like the 100 Club and other grassroots venues, where are tomorrow’s headline acts going to come from? You can’t keep churning out the same old acts, which you can already see is happening. The government’s new stance on music venues, along with promises from the likes of London’s new night czar Amy Lame that halting venue closures is a ‘total priority’, should go some way to helping the UK’s vital live music scene thrive once again.

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