Aberdeen Inspired urges MSPs to bring 'Agent of Change' principle into law
Officials in Aberdeen are calling on the Scottish Government to adopt a more balanced approach to planning laws for live music venues.
They are pushing for the "Agent of Change" principle to be adopted into new legislation in Scotland, similar to moves being made south of the Border. Under the proposals, developers would be responsible to identifying and solving any sound problems when turning industrial or commercial premises into residential property within the vicinity of an existing music venue.
Similarly, if a new venue opens in an existing residential area, the venue is responsible for the cost of soundproofing work.
The issue is due to be discussed at a forthcoming Holyrood committee meeting. Supporters of the Agent of Change principle say its will safeguard existing live grassroots venues, more than a third of which have closed across the UK during the past decade.
Nicola Johnston, night time economy manager for Aberdeen Inspired, has written to the Local Government and Communities Committee at Holyrood to argue that Agent of Change should be adopted in Scotland's planning law, as has recently been the case in England and Wales.
" Aberdeen is undergoing an economic and cultural transformation, adopting the Agent of Change will allow our grass root music venues to flourish as out city grows and develops," she said.
"A city's night time economy is a vital component in the success and attractiveness of a city. It generates employment, attracts tourists and provides residents with cultural experience and entertainment.
"A number of Aberdeen venues, such as Krakatoa, Cellar 35, Coopers Bar, the Gilcomston, Underdog and Downstairs, have been affected by what we believe is an imbalance in the existing regulatory approach.
"Should the Scottish Government adopt the agent of change, our live music venues will be protected, and a much-needed balance struck between sensibly managing noise whilst approaching and respecting the nature of the business's activity and providing a comfortable living environment. That is why I have written tot he Local Government and Communities Committee to urge them to adopt the Agent of Change principle, and I look forward to putting our case forward in person."
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the city's Business Improvement District (BID) operates. BIDs are defined areas of a town or commercial district where business vote to collectively invest in local improvements to the benefit of all traders.
Insider.Co.Uk13th Feb 2018