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Sadiq Khan throws weight behind campaign to save live music venues

Sadiq Khan speaking at the opening of Tara Theatre. Photo Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Sadiq Khan. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
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London mayor Sadiq Khan has welcomed government proposals to safeguard live music venues by strengthening the ‘agent of change’ principle.

It comes weeks after the mayor’s office announced the rate of small music venue closures has slowed, with numbers in the capital staying the same for the first time in a decade.

In its housing white paper, released this week, the government outlined plans to amend the National Planning Policy Framework and strengthen the agent of change principle. This means that developers must take into account existing venues when building nearby and be responsible for ensuring their properties are adequately soundproofed.

Implementing the principle was one of a number of recommendations made in a report published last year on how to tackle the decline of grassroots music venues.

Welcoming the step, Khan described it as an integral part of protecting venues.

“It’s completely unfair that a venue, which may have existed in an area for decades, should have to incur the cost of a new neighbour moving in, which can often result in its closure,” he added.

Night tsar Amy Lamé went on to say that strengthening the agent of change principle would give venues a much-needed boost in their fight for survival.