The future of the UK’s music venues is looking a little brighter after news that Housing Minister Sajid Javid is backing new laws set to put the responsibility of soundproofing on housing developers, not pre-existing venues.
With The Fleece, Thekla, Fiddlers, The Louisiana and Exchange all being threatened by the possible construction of luxury flats – and the closure of The Surrey Vaults for the same reason – the proposed planning law could not have come at a better time for Bristol’s venues.
UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher called the proposed National Planning Policy Framework a “seismic victory” for music venues all over the UK, adding: “It’s great that ministers have listened and are prepared to work with UK Music and others from the industry, including the Music Venue Trust, to make sure grassroots venues get the support and protections they need.”
“I have always thought it unfair that the burden is on long-standing music venues to solve noise issues when property developers choose to build nearby,” Sajid Javid said. “That’s why I consulted on this in February last year as part of the housing white paper. I am pleased to finally have an opportunity to right this wrong and also give more peace of mind to new residents moving into local properties.”