UK government will protect grassroots music venues with new legislation

Fear not, music lovers: your fervent crowd surfing may continue unimpinged by noise complaints
Fear not, music lovers: your fervent crowd surfing may continue unimpinged by noise complaints (Image credit: Carolina Faruolo/Corbis)

Over the past few years, many of the UK's grassroots music venues - including the likes of Southampton Joiners, The 100 Club and Manchester Band on the Wall - have battled noise complaints from new property developments, but the Music Venue Trust has now secured new legislation to protect small music venues.

From 6 April 2016, local planning authorities will be required to consider noise impacts on new residents from existing businesses - essentially, developers planning to convert offices near music venues into residential buildings will no longer be able to do so. Great news for musicians and music fans alike.

The plans come as a result of meetings between Ministers at the Department for Communities and Local Government, alongside Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey MP.

Mark Davyd of the Music Venue Trust said: "We warmly welcome this breakthrough for the UK's grassroots music venues. This common sense move by the government provides an opportunity for local authorities to use their powers to ensure that live music continues to play a vital economic, cultural and social role in our towns and cities.

"For music venues, this has never been about stopping development or preventing the creation of much needed new housing; it's always been about ensuring that new development recognises the culture, economy and vibrancy of city centres by building great housing, enabling existing music venues and new residents to live in harmony.

"This is a major victory for the UK's music venues and music fans. The fight to protect, secure and improve them goes on."

A great victory for live music in the UK, then. If you're so inclined, the new regulations are available to view online.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.