New legislation protecting existing music venues from residential developments will come into effect in the UK April 6th.

Local planning authorities will now have to consider the noise impacts on residential developments located next to music venues.  Previously, if an office building near a music venue was transformed into a residential building, the new residents who complained could have an impact on the venue’s future.

According to the statement created by the Music Venue Trust – the new legislation says, “developers are now required to seek approval on noise complaints when office buildings are converted into residential properties.” Quite simply – if a music venue is nearby, you can’t change offices into flats.

While the new legislation proposals don’t go as far as a full “agent of change” principle, it is a “huge breakthrough” with much of it promoting the UK’s grassroots music venues.

As said by Mark Davyd of Music Venue Trust:

“This common sense move by the government provides an opportunity for local authorities to use their powers to ensure that live music continues to play a vital economic, cultural and social role in our towns and cities. For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing; it’s always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by building great housing, enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony. This is a major victory for the UK’s music venues and music fans. The fight to protect, secure and improve them goes on.”

The new regulations can be found here.