A leading commercial property solicitor has urged property developers to closely follow a bill going through Parliament that could have affect the rules surrounding planning processes.
Jasper Dawson from Kirwans law firm said that the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill, which is being introduced by Labour MP John Spellar today and has cross-party support, could force property developers to find solutions to potential noise issues that could affect their tenants before construction work begins.
The bill proposes that the onus should be on developers to consider problems that could arise as a result of building close to pre-existing clubs, pubs and live music venues, and offer solutions prior to going ahead with their plans.
The move, which has been described as a ‘lifeline to legal performers’, is part of a plan to save music venues that has generated a huge benefit of support from artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Billy Bragg and Chrissie Hynde.
UK Music, a campaign group representing both the recorded and live music industries, claims that more than a third of grassroots venues have closed in the past decade, including The Cockpit in Leeds and the Sheffield Boardwalk, where Ed Sheeran and Arctic Monkeys played key shows.
Jasper Dawson said: “At present, the Agent of Change principle is included in planning guidance but is not legally enforceable in England, Scotland or Wales.
“Should the bill be given the go-ahead, property developers will have to carefully consider how the noise output from surrounding businesses could affect their future tenants’ quality of life, and make plans that will reduce any negative effects.”
The bill is a progression from regulations introduced in April 2016 which require developers to obtain prior approval on ‘noise impacts’ before an office can be turned into a residential building.