Madame Jojo's in Soho. Photography: Pawel Ptak

From April 6 2016, new government legislation will be implemented to protect UK music venues in planning law.

‘Local planning authorities will have to consider noise impacts on new residents from existing businesses under an amended permitted development right,’ wrote the Music Venue Trust on Facebook this morning (March 14).

They continued: ‘Permitted development rights have been extended in recent years and allow certain developments to take place without the need to go through the full planning system. The new regulations mean developers are now required to seek prior approval on noise impacts before a change of use from an office to residential building can be carried out.

Islington's Assembly Hall Photography: Gaelle Beri
Islington’s Assembly Hall
Photography: Gaelle Beri

‘In short – you can’t change offices to flats any more if a music venue is nearby, developers will need to work with the local authority and the music venue to ensure that live music is protected.’

The legislation came about following a meeting with Ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government, alongside Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey MP.

Union Chapel in Islington Photography: Carys Huws
Union Chapel in Islington
Photography: Carys Huws

London has lost 35 per cent of its grassroots music venues since 2007, according to a report, and the number of spaces programming new artists has dropped from 136 to 88. Over the past few years we’ve seen the closures of Vibe Bar, Madame Jojo’s and The Joiners, just to name a few.

The Music Venue Trust was created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music network.

[via FACT]



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