Live music venues victory as change in planning law promised

May 19, 2017 at 5:05 PM

Music fans and politicians have welcomed a Welsh Government announcement that it will revise Wales' national planning policy in a move to support live music venues. 

The planning policy update will strike a chord with live music fans who have protested about the threat to live music in Cardiff's Womanby Street, supported by calls from politicians including Cardiff AMs Julie Morgan and Jenny Rathbone as well as Cardiff MPs Jo Stevens and Kevin Brennan.

Read more on this story: Victory for campaigners as Welsh ministers to change planning law to protect live music venues;
Remarkable scenes of support as music fans march to save Womanby Street in Cardiff

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said she wants an explicit reference to the 'Agent of Change' principle within updated national planning policy. Under this principle, if new developments or uses are to be introduced near a pre-existing business, such as a live music venue, it is the developer's responsibility to ensure solutions to address and mitigate the noise are put forward.

Planning law change will also allow 'designated areas of cultural significance'

Lesley Griffiths also confirmed Planning Policy Wales will be updated to allow the designation of areas of cultural significance for music within Local Development Plans.

The Cabinet Secretary has decided to update Wales' national planning policy following a high profile public campaign, based around Womanby Street in Cardiff city centre, home to a number of popular live music venues. The adoption of the 'Agent of Change' principle into national planning policy and the designation of areas of cultural significance for music are two of the campaign's central aims.

The Cabinet Secretary said: "Live music venues contribute greatly to Wales' thriving cultural scene and our night time economy. I am aware of the efforts to protect the future viability of these venues, including the "Save Womanby Street" campaign, in Cardiff and I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of all involved.

"Although the continued vibrancy of areas like Womanby Street depends on the ongoing participation of a number of different parties, including local authorities, the venues themselves and their customers, I have heard the calls to update our national planning policy to protect live music venues.

"I am delighted, therefore, to confirm I have asked my officials to start revising Planning Policy Wales at the earliest opportunity.

"I am sure this news will be music to the ears of Wales' live music fans and I hope local planning authorities will have the confidence to apply these measures when considering planning applications."