East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has joined other MPs and music industry figures outside the Houses of Parliament to give his backing to the introduction of the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill.
The MPs, from across all political parties, were backed by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, singers Feargal Sharkey and Sandie Shaw and UK Music Chief Executive Michael Douger.
The Bill, presented to the Commons by John Spellar MP and sponsored by Sir Greg aims to incorporate the ‘agent of change’ principle within planning law.
Presently when buildings near a much-loved local music venue are converted to residential use or a new development is erected, the onus is on the music venue to ensure the new dwellings are protected from noise. This situation is having a crippling effect on some of them.
This Bill would flip this responsibility and means that residential developers would be obliged to deal with the impact of sound from pre-existing businesses like music venues before going ahead with their plans.
Sir Greg said, “I welcome the introduction of the agent of change Bill as a vital means of protecting the future of our local music venues. All too often planning laws have placed unreasonable demands on small venues, threatening the development of our music industry.
I am pleased that this Bill recognises the challenges that music venues face. I hope the Government will take action to secure the changes needed.”