Khan pledge to protect London music venues welcomed

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

28 September 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced plans to protect London's night time economy from new developments, a move which has been praised by the trade.

New regulations known as the 'Agent of Change' rule, would mean developers building residences near existing venues will be responsible for soundproofing sites. The news comes after row concerning excessive noise, between Mayfair's historic Curzon cinema and developers 38 Curzon Ltd, who are converting office space above the cinema into luxury flats.

Announcing the measure on his Facebook page, the Mayor of London said: 'I intend to protect venues like the Curzon Mayfair by introducing an "Agent of Change" rule into the next London Plan.

'Developers would be responsible for ensuring their new developments don't threaten the future of existing venues.

'That would mean developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by sound from the venue, and that may include paying for soundproofing.'

The protection would extend to other venues such as music venues and clubs. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: 'The Mayor's commitment to the agent of change principle is a very welcome step towards the protection of nightclubs and venues that are both integral economically and cherished socially.

'The ALMR has been pushing hard for this and have long argued that nightclubs, bars and other late-night music venues are an absolutely essential element of the UK's wider music scene as well as fantastic drivers of growth in town and city centres.

'The ALMR will be liaising with the Mayor's office to continue to push for protection for the capital's late-night venues to allow late-night bars and venues to flourish.'

Adding that he warmly welcomes this announcement by Sadiq Khan, Mark Davyd, CEO of charity Music Venue Trust, said: 'It is a very measured and sensible approach to planning and development which ensures great, suitable development can continue to thrive in our cities whilst protecting existing cultural spaces like music venues. There are a raft of other measures we would like to see, but this is an excellent response to challenges facing London as it tries to reach a balance between the need for it to continue to be a thriving, cultural destination and the rights of residents.

'35% of London's music venues have closed in the last eight years. Since the report in October 2015, the rate of closures has slowed but it's still not enough; we need to reverse the trend if London is to lay claim to being the music capital of the world,' he concluded.

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