PLANS TO enshrine the Agent of Change principle in UK law have gained significant momentum since gaining cross-party support from politicians including former culture minister Ed Vaizey MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music chair David Warburton MP.
The bill is expected to come before the House of Commons on 10 January.
“It’s essentially putting into law something that’s just common sense – ensuring that developers would have to take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses like music venues, before going with their plans, including soundproofing measures,” says Beverly Whitrick strategic director of the Music Venue Trust.
“With UK Music showing a united front and representing people from across the entire industry, as well as support from numerous MPs, we have a real chance of seeing this act put into law.”
Alex Black of 400-capacity Bristol venue Thekla, which faces a potential threat from a nearby development (see LIVE UK issue 215), says that the act would be a huge help to venues.
“Some of our country’s oldest and dearest music venues are still small outfits, who simply don’t have the funding to fight against the developers,” he says.
“As it stands anyone deemed to be making a noise is almost entirely to blame without question, and this can have huge repercussions on grassroots music – we were required to put in additional soundproofing along the length of the venue in 2014.”