As the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) comes into force in England, UK Music has urged local authorities to formally adopt the agent-of-change principle to safeguard music venues.

The umbrella body’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, has written to the chair of the Local Government Association, Lord Porter of Spalding, asking English local authorities to adopt agent of change, which was included in the NPPF in January. Local authorities are legally bound to comply with the NPPF – which came into force today (24 July) – meaning all planning committees must consider the principle when making decisions on applications and in framing their planning policy.

The British government committed to introducing agent of change, which makes housing developers building new homes near UK venues responsible for addressing noise issues, in the NPPF following a campaign by Music Venue Trust and UK Music in support of a bill tabled by former minister John Spellar MP.

“The introduction of agent of change in the NPPF marks a pivotal moment in the fight to protect under-threat music venues,” says Dugher. “The government is to be congratulated for taking this decisive step.

“Too often music venues have been the victims of developers. This new law will help ensure music venues can continue to grow audiences and develop talent, contributing significantly to our £1 billion live music industry.”

“This has been a long-fought battle and it is vital that local authorities back it to save live music. There is now no excuse for local authorities for not stepping in to protect grassroots music venues.”

Adds Spellar: “I am delighted that the Government has listened to concerns expressed by MPs and the music industry about the fate of music venues across the country, and has fulfilled its commitment to introduce the agent-of-change principle in the new National Planning Policy Framework by summer recess.

“This is great news for musicians and music lovers whose voice has been loud and has now been heard. Local authorities must now make use of these vital tools to support our world leading music creativity throughout our towns, cities and communities.”

Ticketmaster is a supporter of the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

Source: IQ, published on 24 July 2018 |  

Image: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament

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