The ‘Agent of Change’ bill is new planning legislation that has recently received government support.
If a developer builds next door to an existing music venue, the ‘Agent of Change’ bill will mean that the developer would have to manage any noise complaints themselves rather than the venue shelling out for the costs.
With 35% of independent music venues closing in the last 10 years, the ‘Agent of Change’ bill could make a big cost saving difference to small venues.
Currently, if a noise complaint is made, whoever is causing the noise is responsible for making the changes to solve the issue. For instance, if a venue had been in the same location for 10 years and someone was to move in next to it, they could complain straight away, even if they knew they were moving next to a loud venue in the first place, and the venue would need to cover the costs of any changes required.
The ‘Agent of Change’ bill will help to prevent this, but this is just one of the major challenges that music venues face. Hopefully the bill is a key step in supporting them to avoid closure but the work doesn’t stop there.
Our favourite quote from Chloe Ward, Director of UK, Independent Venue Week is: ‘go to a gig – there’s not really any better experience than live music. Don’t wait until your local venue is threatened with closure, go and support it now by going to shows.’
The bill will be discussed for the second time in the House of Commons on 16th March.