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Scottish venues win protection from noise complaints as planning law is updated

Studio 24 in Edinburgh was closed in 2017 following noise complaints Studio 24 in Edinburgh was closed in 2017 following noise complaints
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Entertainment venues in Scotland will receive protection from noise complaints, after the ‘agent of change’ planning principle was enshrined into Scottish law.

The principle means if an existing entertainment venue is in place before a new development is built nearby, the developer is responsible for soundproofing against noise.

An amended version of the Planning (Scotland) Bill was passed into law on June 21, which included the agent of change principle as well as four other references to culture.

The other references require culture to be considered in local development plans, town and county planning and the country’s National Planning Framework.

A group representing 50 arts organisations in Scotland called Culture Counts has welcomed the changes.

Executive leader of Culture Counts Jennifer Hunter said: “The Planning (Scotland) Bill has recognised the cultural sector and its value to communities in Scotland.

“We’re pleased that politicians and civil servants understand the wider importance of the protection of culture; due to well-known benefits that span across health and social care, education and the economy.

“Culture Counts follows and welcomes the trend in social prescribing by the NHS in Scotland and consideration in planning can only strengthen the sector’s ability to provide services, improve wellness, enjoyment, hope and inspiration.”

In 2017, a popular Edinburgh music venue called Studio 24 was closed, citing noise complaints from nearby residents.

The agent of change principle was adopted into English law in July last year.

Earlier this month, a Guildford venue was saved from closure, with a court using the agent of change principle to overturn restrictions it was facing.

Live music venue threatened with closure wins reprieve after court intervenes

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