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Stronger music venue protection proposed in NPPF revision


The Government has confirmed that the forthcoming revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will include 'detailed reference' to a planning principle intended to protect night-time music venues.

Under the proposals, the Government will amend the NPPF to make sure decisions take account of existing businesses and other organisations, such as churches, community pubs and music venues, when locating new development nearby and, where necessary, to mitigate the impact of noise and other potential nuisances arising from existing development.

The changes are understood to be the result of a campaign backed by Sir Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. The campaign highlighted the threat to music clubs and gig venues, which have been forced to close owing to complaints by new residents.

The existing version of the NPPF, in paragraph 123, advises that planning policies and decisions should recognise that existing businesses should not have unreasonable restrictions placed on them because of changes to nearby land uses. The associated Planning Practice Guidance on noise indicates that consideration should be given to the potential effects of locating new residential development close to existing businesses that cause noise.

However the proposed changes to the NPPF are understood to recognise the principle by which a party introducing a new land use is responsible for managing the impact of that change. The NPPF will be amended to more fully recognise this principle.

Consultation on the revisions to the NPPF are anticipated in Spring 2018.


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