Brighton & Hove planning law to be amended to protect music venues

April 27, 2020

Brighton & Hove Council’s proposed submission for the City Plan Part 2 has been updated to include provisions for the full adoption of the Agent of Change Principle, following a campaign led by Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Hove & Portslade, Beatrice Bass.

Agent of Change law requires developers to keep new developments near existing music venues noise free by installing suitable mitigation, such as sound proofing. Such measures would ensure that music venues will not face noise complaints and threats of closure from residents of adjacent developments.

Bass, a former professional musician, was ‘shocked’ to see that early drafts of City Plan Part 2 did not follow the guidelines set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in regards to the Agent of Change principle.

The campaign to amend the drafting of City Plan Part 2 was supported by Grassroots Brighton & Hove, a non-party political organisation comprising a number of local venues and musicians.

Bass said: ‘I am delighted and grateful that the council has listened to our plea and amended local planning law to provide greater protection for music venues. This is good news for venue managers, promoters and music fans in Brighton and Hove. We already lost too many venues due to noise complaints, such as the Freebutt or Hector’s House. This amendment in new planning law will ensure that the future of our music venues will not now be threatened by new developments.

‘Brighton & Hove has a thriving music scene with so many amazing up and coming artists. It is the town where bands like British Sea Power, Royal Blood and MarthaGunn started out. As a former professional musician, I feel passionately about our music scene.

‘Grassroots venues face an enormous challenge to stay profitable and need any support they can get from local and national government. The Liberal Democrats are committed to support the creative industries. Now as the battle on planning law has been won, we should look to provide venues with more financial support as a next step.’