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Sadiq Khan to protect venues with introduction of ‘agent of change’ principle

By | Published on Tuesday 27 September 2016

Sadiq Khan

London mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to introduce the ‘agent of change’ principle in the capital to help protect cultural venues from the licensing woes that can be caused by property developers plonking new residential properties alongside their buildings.

As previously discussed, the introduction of this rule would mean that when new flats are built near a venue, the responsibility to protect against noise bleeding into the new properties would fall to the developer, rather than the venue. The lack of protection such as this has endangered numerous UK venues in recent years, such as The Night & Day Cafe in Manchester and Ministry Of Sound in London.

Khan actually announced his plans to introduce the agent of change principle off the back of the recent news that one of London’s Curzon cinemas was under threat of closure, thanks to offices above being converted into flats.

“I intend to protect venues like the Curzon Mayfair by introducing an ‘agent of change’ rule into the next London Plan”, wrote Khan on Facebook. “Developers would be responsible for ensuring their new developments don’t threaten the future of existing venues. That would mean developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by sound from the venue, and that may include paying for soundproofing”.

In the case of the Curzon, it seems, this protection is actually already in place. Say Khan: “I’m very pleased to hear that Westminster Council included this principle when the planning application was first submitted in 2013, and are taking the necessary steps to protect a cinema which makes a significant contribution to the character of the area and is a real cultural gem”.