Government moves to protect live music venues

Some good news on the future of small grassroots music venues reported by M Magazine.

The British government is introducing new legislation giving local authorities the powers to better protect live music venues against redevelopment pressures.

The new regulations, which come into effect on 6 April 2016, mean developers are now required to seek prior approval on noise impacts before changing the use of a site from offices to residential dwellings.

Recent development right extensions, which have allowed premises to change from commercial buildings to residential ones, have put pressure on music venues by making them prone to noise complaints from residents once they move into the area.

UK Music, the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians’ Union have welcomed the government’s move.

This is probably a case where The Devil is in the details, especially given the sometimes murky relationships between property developers and local government planning departments, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

And as the full article rightly states, it’s not about preventing much-needed housing from being built, it’s about not putting property developers’ profits ahead of the pre-existing cultural life of the area.

It’s too late for The Point in Cardiff. But let’s hope it makes the future of venues like The Fleece & Firkin in Bristol a little more secure.

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