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Industry Backs Agent of Change

The UK music industry has welcomed amendments to the Planning Bill that would place the ‘agent of change’ principle in law on a statutory basis.

Already adopted in Australia, the agent of change principle ensures that a new property developer must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it is also be responsible for complying with residential requirements. This all sounds dangerously like common sense to The Gen.

The amendments were tabled by the opposition and debated last week as part of the Public Bill Committee consideration of the Housing And Planning Bill in the House of Commons. Although the Government predictably rejected the amendments as unnecessary due to existing guidance, it is due to meet with industry to discuss the matter further.

Labour’s Shadow DCMS Secretary of State Michael Dugher MP (pictured) has written to the Secretary of State to outline his views on the issue.

CEO of the Music Venue Trust Mark Davyd, said: “We welcome this important opportunity to take a common sense approach to Housing and Planning. Grassroots music venues are culturally significant spaces, incubating UK music talent at the very earliest stage of their careers. By adopting agent of change principles, we not only ensure these spaces are protected, we also contribute to the development of higher quality residential development in towns and cities. Residents and culture can happily co-exist in our towns and cities, and Agent of Change is a simple supporting measure that encourages that outcome”.

CEO of UK Music Jo Dipple said: “Grassroots music venues are under threat. They are closing. These venues are the hands that hold the heart of the British music industry. Without them there are no hubs for creativity, stages for talent or homes for emerging artists. These small and grassroots venues create a platform for our industry, one that contributes £4.1 billion to the UK economy”.

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