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Breakthrough As Government Moves To Adopt Agent Of Change

Planning policy to be amended to protect Britain’s Grassroots Music Venues 

The Government has announced plans to adopt Agent of Change into The National Planning Policy Framework. In a press statement released today the Government said:

Housing developers building new homes near music venues should be responsible for addressing noise issues in a move to protect both music venues and their neighbours the Housing Secretary has said.

The National Planning Policy Framework, which local authorities are legally bound to comply with, will now be clarified to include detailed reference to the ‘Agent of Change’ principle, and will be consulted on in spring.

The move means developers will be responsible for identifying and solving any sound problems, if granted permission to build, and avoid music venues, community and sports clubs and even churches running into expensive issues as a result of complaints from new neighbours.”

A statement from Housing Secretary Sajid Javid MP:

“Music venues play a vital role in our communities, bringing people together and contributing to the local economy and supporting the country’s grass roots music culture. I have always thought it unfair that the burden is on long-standing music venues to solve noise issues when property developers choose to build nearby. That’s why I consulted on this in February last year as part of the housing white paper. I am pleased to finally have an opportunity to right this wrong and also give more peace of mind to new residents moving into local properties.”

Statement from Music Venue Trust:

“Following the huge support for John Spellar MP’s Private Members Bill, Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this move by the Government to adopt Agent of Change.

Too many of our music venues have been lost to poor developments that haven’t recognised the cultural importance of Grassroots Music Venues. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that these new measures provide robust protection, which presents clear guidelines for developers and Local Authorities.

Music Venue Trust would like to thank our partners at UK Music and Musicians’ Union for their support on this campaign.”

Statement from Music Venue Trust Patron Frank Turner who fronted our campaign in 2014 to introduce Agent of Change:

“I’m pleased to see the Government are committing to Agent of Change and are going to adopt it into the planning framework. This common-sense measure will help protect grassroots music venues that are the core of our DIY culture. I look forward to keeping an eye on Agent of Change as it progresses.”

To read more about the work of Music Venue Trust and the importance of Grassroots Music Venues, visit our website here:

To read more about the Government’s plan to adopt Agent of Change, please read their Press Release here.

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