7 May 2019

Lewis Macdonald - Planning law must protect live music venues

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has warned that Government proposals to amend the Planning Bill must not water down changes which have been made to protect live music venues from the impact of new developments.

Amendments tabled by Lewis Macdonald at Stage 2 of the debate made the Agent of Change principle part of planning law, rather than the current situation in which local authorities have only been given planning guidance on developments near to live music venues.

After a question on the issue in the Scottish Parliament today, Lewis said:

“The Minister’s support for the Agent of Change principle is welcome, but it is now important that any changes to the Planning Bill continue to give live music venues legal protection from new developments which could result in substantial extra costs, or even force them to close.

“Including Agent of Change in planning guidance is not enough, as there is always room for interpretation and legal challenges.

“Enshrining workable and enforceable protections for the Agent of Change principle in planning legislation is the only way to ensure that residential developments don’t force any more of our live music venues to close.

“I will meet the Minister to discuss this issue ahead of the Stage 3 debate on the Planning (Scotland) Bill, in the hope we can achieve cross-party support for effective legislation on Agent of Change.”