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Grassroots Venues Ministers back moves to protect music venues

MUSIC fans celebrated today after the government caved in to pressure and backed changes to planning rules which will help protect grassroots venues.

Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said that developers building new homes near music venues will now have to take responsibility for addressing noise issues.

Labour MP John Spellar launched a private member’s Bill which was supported by the Musicians’ Union and passed its first reading in the Commons earlier this month.

Musicians including Paul McCartney, Billy Bragg, Chrissie Hynde, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and The Kinks’ Ray Davies all supported the Bill.

Musicians’ Union national organiser for live performance Dave Webster said it was “welcome news and we are pleased that the government has listened to the music industry.
 
“The pledge to strengthen the National Planning Policy Framework will give Musicians’ Union members places to play and audiences to support them, and give venues the protection they so desperately need.”

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson said: “We must now all make sure that the commitments made today are carried forward as promised by ministers, so that new building developments take the needs of existing music venues into account.”

Over the past decade, more than a third of music venues across the country have closed.

Several venues in Bristol, including the Thekla, Fiddlers and The Fleece still face threats, and there has been a recent campaign to save Cardiff’s “music street,” Womanby Street.

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