- Sajid Javid MPCulture Secretary
Adopt the Agent of Change Principle
The cornerstone of the UK music industry is under threat and we need to protect it. Across the country we are seeing music venues being threatened with closure because of changes in planning laws to encourage more residents to move into town centres.
This change in policy was intended to address housing shortages; specifically, offices, car parks and disused buildings across the country can be converted into residences. And right next door to those offices and car parks are the UK's music venues.
Music venues are now fighting off noise complaints, abatement notices and planning applications; 12 venues are already under threat, an avalanche will follow if we don't take action.
Many of these venues chose their locations deliberately so that the music wouldn't ever be a 'nuisance'. Now residents are making complaints about sound and the developers of the residential property have no legal obligation to soundproof these new residences. The UK law says the business or person making the noise is making the nuisance, and they must manage it.
And it won't end with music venues.
Church bells, Sports grounds, Pubs, Arts Centres, Theatres, any place that makes a noise is under threat.
A solution is simple, and it's called the Agent of Change principle.
Under the Agent of Change principle if a music venue is in place before the residential building, the residential building would be responsible for paying for soundproofing. Likewise, if a new music venue opens in a residential area, the venue are responsible for the cost.
Agent of Change is so obvious and common sense that most people are amazed it isn't already part of UK law. In Australia it's already being adopted, and the outcome is improved planning; venues working alongside their communities to manage their noise when it changes, developers making better residences that are fit for purpose.
As a musician, these venues are important to me. They are where I grew up, where I learned about rock’n’roll music, where I saw all my favourite bands. The venues where I played my first shows and some of my most recent, the home of the music scene that has given me my career, my passion and my life. But right now, we are genuinely facing a meltdown and the British live music circuit is crumbling around us.
With the Agent of change, everyone's a winner - it’s a no brainer.
We are asking the Culture Secretary that he work with the Music Venue Trust and the UK's incredible network of live music venues. The Musician's Union, The Music Industries Association, UK Music all support it.
Let's act together, right now, to adopt and enforce Agent of Change.
- Culture Secretary
Sajid Javid MP
I support the call for the adoption of the Agent of Change principle into UK Law
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