Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Could the 'agent of change' principle finally become law?

Michael Dugher
The live music sector has welcomed amendments to the UK's Planning Bill which would introduce the 'agent of change' principle into UK law on a statutory basis. The amendments are planned to be debated this week as part of the Public Bill Committee consideration of the Housing And Planning Bill in the House of Commons. 

When Labour's Michael Dugher  became shadow culture secretary, one of the first issues he raised was the plight of small music venues. Of the 430 that traded in London between 2007 and 2015, only 245 remain open. At the Music Trust's Venue Day 2015, Dugher, renowned for his love of karaoke, warned: "There is a real crisis at the moment and that's why we need a national strategy to support small music venues before many more shut." 

The agent of change principle ensures that a new development must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements.  


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