The Music Venue Trust has called for “urgent clarification” on planning policy, following a major speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on an economic recovery plan.
Johnson pledged to “build, build, build”. As part of what he called "project speed", planning laws would also be streamlined to encourage development.
The comments have revived fears about the loss of venues. The Agent Of Change principle in planning had been introduced to protect music venues.
Mark Dayvd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, noted that the speech revealed that planning rules would be changed by September to allow:
- Developers to “demolish and rebuild” vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings if they are rebuilt as homes.
- A wider range of commercial buildings to be switched to housing without a planning application.
- Property owners to build “additional space above their properties”, via a “fast track approval process".
We need urgent clarification from the government that they intend to leave the protections for music venues in place
“This is a replica of the Permitted Development Right which closed hundreds of venues before the government acted to exempt them in 2018,” said Davyd. “The decision to exempt them was taken after a long campaign supported by, among others, Boris Johnson.
“We need urgent clarification from the government that they do not intend to change the National Planning Policy Framework and intend to leave the protections for music venues in place.”
UK Music acting CEO Tom Kiehl said: “Hard won protections need to be maintained or ‘build, build, build’ will mean music venues come crashing down.”
10 years ago Govt relaxed planning. Developers moved swiftly & venues closed. As Mayor of London Boris Johnson backed culture & found solutions. Hard won protections need to be maintained or “build, build, build” will mean music venues come crashing down https://t.co/x6aABFVjOU— Tom Kiehl (@Tomkiehl) June 30, 2020
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