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Music venues get legal protection

Live music venues in England to be protected from forced closure by noise complaints from new homes

Live music venues in England are to be protected from the risk of forced closure as a result of new homes being built nearby.

In recent years several clubs have fallen victim to planning laws which have meant that just one complaint from a tenant could see the business shut down.

Venues have been particularly pressured when former commercial premises are converted to living accommodation, and new arrivals object to the noise generated by bands, deliveries and audiences – no matter how long the venue has been operating.

Now a change in English planning laws, which comes into force next month, require local authorities to take account of established noise generation before granting permission to develop living accommodation.

Music Venue Trust boss Mark Davyd says: “We warmly welcome this breakthrough – this common-sense move provides an opportunity for local authorities to use their powers to ensure that live music continues to play a vital economic, cultural and social role in our towns and cities.

“This has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much-needed housing. It's always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony.”

But he adds that other pressures remain on live music businesses across the UK, adding: “The fight to protect, secure and improve them goes on.”

The Town And Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 comes into force on April 6.

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