Some bit of news that might have been lost in the shuffle recently, but it seems that the Agent of Change principle is something that is going to included into UK Planning Laws moving forward, which is great for the London Nightlife scene.
Essentially, the Agent of Change principle means that the responsibility/onus of any sound-proofing when developing around noise/late-night Venues lie with the Property developers, not with Music venues that were already there (amongst other/similar things). Previously, it was the other way around almost, where properties were developed near music/late-night venues and the venues were held responsible/account for complaints on noise to Local Authorities and could risk bad blood between management of the properties and the venue (some leading to closure). This is something that was trialled and passed through to Law in Australia, to a positive outcome all around – here it is below (the key point being ‘co-existence’) :-
In addition, what’s personally great to hear around all this is that it’s been made a point of in the Houses of Parliament, as well as many, many musicians coming out to support this over the past few weeks – it’s highlighting the severity of how many Music venues have closed over the past few years, whereas previously this was the kind of news mentioned here and there in the Evening Standard, Metro, etc on other articles around Nighlife, but now the impact of these closures to the wider generation is being recognised at the top – so to hear this on this scale is something that is widely welcomed
The above headline was mentioned with a day of the announcement of Fabric’s closure was closed, there were rumours that expensive Property developers had bought space near and around the venue to develop into expensive flats (also quoted in the Independent and various Music Journalists on Twitter) – it left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, as the sheer increase of developments of extremely high-priced flats in London was something that no-one could ignore. Anyone that’s been to The Egg in King’s Cross can also see the swathes of construction work of flats being built and collectively wonder when The Egg was going to be swallowed up with them.
However, the flats located near Ministry of Sound in Elephant & Castle, have (as I understood from many who have told me) that their flat properties are installed with sound-proofing to prevent late-night noise attracting complaints from residents (London Mayor Sadiq Khan is also reportedly trialling this with big Music Venues too, covered at the cost of Property developers nearby) – these are already examples of where the Agent of Change principle is already working to ensure properties can still be developed near late-night venues, with minimal problems all round.
I’ll end by saying that this isn’t something that is against Property developers – it’s just that the properties that are being developed around late-night venues have to bear the area in mind moving forward. Anything which leads to costs incurred by venues as a result of them doing this, means that a lot of smaller venues simply don’t have the money/resource to do this, if this were the other way round, and would risk their closures – so this law is one step for protection for them – but it’s a way for both parties to co-exist.
All in all, a positive step and reaffirms Sadiq Khan/Amy Lake’s hope for a truly 24-hour city – as well as for the rest of the UK.