28 October 2014
Green Assembly Member Darren Johnson welcomes the Mayor's support of the Agent of Change principle, citing it as "an important step towards protecting live music venues in our capital".
The Mayor of London has responded positively to a call from Darren Johnson, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, to protect London’s live music venues.
Darren has highlighted a range of challenges faced by live music venues in the capital, including rising property values which have led to landowners increasing rents; major redevelopment projects which have led to the loss of other venues (or are set to) and new housing developments on neighbouring sites which have threatened the viability of long-standing venues.
The Hammersmith Apollo, a major music venue in London. Photograph courtesy of Alex Muller.
Darren tabled the following formal question to the Mayor at the 22nd October 2014 Mayor’s Question Time meeting:
Protecting live music venues - Agent of change principle
Question No: 2014/4062
Under the Agent of Change principle being championed by musician Frank Turner and others, if a music venue is in place before a new residential development is approved, the residential building would be responsible for paying for any soundproofing deemed necessary. Likewise, if a new music venue opens in a residential area, the venue would be responsible for the cost. Will the Mayor support this campaign and back such a change in legislation?
Written response from the Mayor
The two planning scenarios you set out appear equitable and I would like to test them further to inform a revision to the London Plan.
The London Plan is the main set of planning guidelines for London and is the legislation that would need to be altered to incorporate the Agent of Change principle.
Darren Johnson AM commented:
"I strongly welcome the Mayor’s positive reaction to my suggestion. This as an important step towards protecting live music venues in our capital that have been threatened by a flurry of threats to their existence.”
“I am meeting with the Mayor’s cultural team this week to discuss these issues in more detail and look forward to taking further steps towards bringing about this change in planning policy that would ensure London remains a vibrant cultural hub for years to come.”