'Agent of change' comes into force for England's music venues

The British government has introduced the agent of change principle, meant to help safeguard music venues, in the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which has now come into force in England.

The campaigning group, UK Music, has urged local authorities to formally adopt the 'agent of change' principle which means that housing developers building new homes near UK venues are responisble for addressing noise issues.

Local authorities are legally bound to comply with the NPPF – which came into force 24 July – meaning all planning committees must consider the principle when making decisions on applications and informing their planning policy.

“The introduction of 'agent of change' in the NPPF marks a pivotal moment in the fight to protect under-threat music venues,” says UK Music Chief Executive, Michael 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.”

Both UK Music and Music Venue Trust have been campaigning for the introduction of the 'agent of change'.

UK Music's Agent of Change lobby outside Parliament on 10 January 2018 / Image: UK Music


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