Councils support threatened live music venues

The Local Government Association (LGA) has joined a cross-party campaign which will see a person or business responsible for a change in noise conditions being held responsible for managing that change.

The current law states that somebody can move next door to a live music venue and request for it to be quieter or restricted, regardless of how long it has existed. Under the proposed change, outlined in a Private Members’ Bill by MP John Spellar, anybody who chooses to move next door to a music venue would be assessed as having made that decision understanding there is going to be some music noise.

Additionally, a music venue which buys a new public address system would also be expected to carry out tests to ensure its noise emissions don’t increase.

Gerald Vernon Jackson, chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: “Our live music venues are part of the cultural lifeblood of communities, but sadly the increase in demand for housing in town centres is bringing some residents into conflict with them.

“It cannot be right that someone can knowingly move next door to such a venue and then decide afterwards that the music is a nuisance, in the same way that it is not right for a venue to install a speaker system without consideration for nearby residents. Instead this proposal provides a common-sense solution which strikes a balance between the obligations of developers and protecting the vital live music scene in our towns and cities across the country. This Bill offers a much-needed update which has already drawn widespread support across the political spectrum, and we look forward to seeing its progress through Parliament.”

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