The ALMR has today reiterated its support of the Agent of Change principle and urged local authorities to apply the principle in their planning and governing.
The introduction of the Agent of Change principle in the UK would ensure that, when a music venue is already in place, any new residential buildings nearby would be responsible for paying for their soundproofing. Likewise, if a new music venue is introduced into a residential area, it would be responsible for its soundproofing.
The issue was raised in a question to DCLG, answered this week by Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP. Under current guidelines, planning policies should ‘support the viability and vitality’ of town centres and plan positively for the use of community spaces including licensed premises.
In January, the Government issued revised guidance protecting pubs and music venues from incurring soundproofing costs, in response to ALMR campaigning.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “We discussed this issue with Brandon Lewis at our Spring Conference in 2014 and have been championing the principle rigorously. The ALMR has always insisted that music venues and nightclubs are a valuable part of the UK’s social and cultural zeitgeist, the loss of which would permanently alter the look and feel of our town and city centres for the worse.
“We need to ensure that places such as these do not become relics, but remain as valuable sources of inspiration and contributors to local economies.
“The ALMR has consistently pushed for planning decisions taken at local levels to have regard for economic growth. We are urging local authorities to bear this in mind in their planning and licensing decisions to promote high street growth and guarantee equality for our music venues.”