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Mayor includes agent of change in his London Plan

By | Published on Wednesday 29 November 2017

Sadiq Khan

London mayor Sadiq Khan will include the much talked about agent of change principle in his new draft London Plan, it was confirmed earlier this week. This means that property developers putting new residential buildings next to existing pubs or venues would have to ensure the new build was designed to avoid any future possible noise issues.

There have been increasing calls for agent of change to be added to UK planning law in recent years after a number of music venues faced licensing challenges as a result of new residential developments that were built near by. The agent of change principle says that property developers must design new buildings in a way to ensure future issues are minimised, and cover the costs of any extra work required such as sound-proofing.

Various MPs are planning on talking up agent of change in Parliament next year, but Khan is already putting it in his draft London Plan, as part of measures designed to protect the capital’s pubs, including those that stage live music.

A statement from the mayor’s office stated: “Sadiq will introduce the agent of change principle in his draft London Plan. This means that developers building new residential properties near pubs will be responsible for ensuring they are adequately soundproofed and designed to reduce sound from nearby pubs, clubs and live music venues, instead of the crippling cost falling on the pubs and clubs”.

It added: “[Planning committees in the London] boroughs will have to refuse proposals from developers that have not clearly demonstrated how they will manage this noise impact”.

Khan himself said: “Pubs across the capital are often at the heart of our communities or of historic value and should be protected by local authorities in order to protect the capital’s unique character. From historic watering holes to new pop-up breweries, nothing defines the diverse and historic character of the capital better than the Great British pub”.

“That’s why I’ve set out measures in my draft London Plan to protect pubs against redevelopment, ensure they can co-exist peacefully with nearby residential properties and ensure that councils across the capital recognise their importance to the city’s cultural fabric”.