In response to a spate of local music venues raising the alarm about being faced with closure, Green Party Councillors in Bristol have called on the city’s elected Labour Mayor to adopt a planning policy known as the ‘agent of change’ principle.
This principle, recently adopted by London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, puts the onus for soundproofing on new residential developments, which must shoulder responsibility for compliance when situated near an existing music venue. Similarly, if a music venue opens in a residential area, it too would be responsible for complying with residential requirements.
According to the London Mayor, “developers building flats near existing venues will need to ensure that residents are not unduly affected by sound from the venue, and that may include paying for soundproofing.”
Green Councillors Martin Fodor and Steve Clarke have put forward a statement to Bristol City Council’s council meeting of 12 December, urging the Mayor to implement the ‘agent of change’ principle in Bristol to protect local music venues. In recent months, Thekla and multiple other music venues in the city have closed or come under threat of closure due to noise complaints.
Commenting on the proposal, Cllr Martin Fodor said:
"As our city's housing stock increases this is a common-sense proposal that protects our city's music venues. We hope the Labour mayor will adopt this green proposal to reassure the city's thriving music scene."
Cllr Steve Clarke said:
"We live in a City where music and existing industrial uses (often of a heritage nature as in the shipbuilding) are integral to the fabric of our vibrant urban space. I do not want to end up with a monolithic fabric of residential and retail."
The full statement reads:
Statement by Councillors Stephen Clarke and Martin Fodor:
We should formally introduce an ‘Agent of Change’ Policy into the Local Plan.
We sit on DCA and DCB committees and there have been a number of recent occasions where concerns have been raised about new residential developments impacting on existing leisure outlets and businesses. The two that come to mind are the worries about the continuation of the Thekla as a music venue and the existing shipbuilding activity next to the proposed McArthurs Warehouse apartments adjacent to the SS Great Britain. The earlier development next to the Fleece is still current as it just completed construction.
In all these cases, the concern is that new apartments will be purchased or rented by people who then try to stop the existing potentially noisy operations which are happening next door. This is unacceptable in our view. We live in a City where music and existing industrial uses (often of a heritage nature as in the shipbuilding) are integral to the fabric of our vibrant urban space. We do not want to end up with a monolithic fabric of residential and retail.
To deal with this issue the Mayor of London has proposed a planning principle in the London Plan called ‘The Agent of Change Rule’. It says:
‘Boroughs should ensure that planning decisions reflect the Agent of Change principle and take account of existing noise-generating uses in a sensitive manner when new development, particularly residential is proposed nearby…Boroughs should refuse development proposals that have not clearly demonstrated how noise impacts will be mitigated and managed.’
‘Development should be designed to ensure that established noise generating venues remain viable and can continue or grow without unreasonable restrictions being placed on them.’
At the moment we have no such principle in our planning policy documents. We, therefore, propose that we adopt a similar policy to the London one and we would ask that the Mayor promotes it as an important part of our Local Plan.
Submitted by: Councillors Stephen Clarke & Martin Fodor
Date: 11 December 2017
Did Leave.EU take data from Bristol companies?
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has today written to Avon and Somerset Police to ask if the force is investigating new evidence that Bristol companies GoSkippy and Eldon Insurance allegedly shared data illegally with Leave.EU.
Green councillors stand with Friends of Redland Library against closure
At a meeting of Friends of Redland Library last week, Green councillors Carla Denyer and Clive Stevens were amongst the speakers updating residents about the progress of the campaign to save Bristol’s libraries.
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP
An update from Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP and the national EU spokesperson
Keeping Bristol’s parks ad-free
At a council meeting on March 20 Bristol Council debated a petition to ‘Keep our parks advertising free’, in response to the Labour administration’s proposals to introduce commercial advertising to Bristol's parks and green spaces. Green Cllr Steve Clarke spoke in response.
Bristol Uni announces it will become fossil free
The University of Bristol, after extensive talks, announced today that it will withdraw all £700,000 of its investment from the fossil fuel industry. Moving from partial to full divestment is a big step forward for the university, with plans being put in place to ditch all fossil fuel companies from its investment portfolio over the next couple of years.
Council votes for Temple Meads arena location after Green motion
Over five thousand people have now signed a petition calling for the Mayor to support a Bristol arena at Temple Meads. Green councillors brought the matter to a vote with a motion to Full Council.
It’s time for a drug consumption room in Bristol
Green Councillor Cleo Lake is calling for Bristol to launch a drug consumption room to give drug users a safer space with access to needles and specialist support.
Bristol's Three Pro-EU MEPs release joint statement on Russian poison attack
“In a difficult week for pro-EU MEPs, when we debated the next stage of the leaving process, it was heartening to feel the warmth and generosity of our European colleagues in solidarity with the UK in the face of Russian aggression."
Greens bring vote on Arena location to Council meeting
Green Councillors have secured a Council debate and vote on the location of Bristol’s arena at next Tuesday’s Council meeting.
Bristol’s next Lord Mayor announced as Green Councillor Cleo Lake
Green Councillors have announced their candidate for Lord Mayor as Cotham Councillor, Cleo Lake
Clean Air Action Plan proposed after years of Green campaigning
At Bristol Council today, the Cabinet approved the development of a Clean Air Action Plan to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution in the city, which has been estimated to contribute to over 300 premature deaths per year.
High Court refuses MEP's Brexit case
High Court refuses to force government’s hand over Brexit impact studies
Bristol's MEP is today in High Court over Brexit court action
The High Court will this morning hear an oral application for permission to apply for judicial review to compel the production, in public, of the studies the government continues to withhold on the economic impacts of Brexit.
Green Group leader lobbies Treasury for end to local government cuts
Green Group leader Eleanor Combley today travelled to London to hand in a letter to the Treasury calling for an end to cuts to local government funding.
Greens refuse to vote for Labour’s cuts budget
At today’s budget Full Council meeting in Bristol City Hall, the city’s Green Councillors have refused to vote for the Labour Mayor’s austerity budget that proposed cuts of £34 million across Bristol, including library and public toilet closures and a large funding cut to Adult Social Care.
Raft of Green amendments passes at Budget Full Council
Bristol’s Green Councillors are celebrating today as all but one of their budget amendments at today’s Budget Full Council were passed.
Plot to ditch EU food standards threatens South West producers
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has warned of a plot by leading rightwing Brexiteers to ditch EU food and safety standards that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals currently banned in Britain.
New report on ‘Britain’s broken housing market’ & lessons from other EU Countries
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has launched a report she commissioned on the UK’s housing crisis.
Opinion: Blue sky thinking not allowed – frustrations of Bristol City Council’s budget
Green councillor for Clifton Down Carla Denyer writes for Bristol 24/7 on the restrictions surrounding the budget process at the council, which she says "makes long-term thinking impossible."
“Build children’s homes instead of sending children across the country”
Green Councillor Eleanor Combley has submitted an amendment to the Council’s budget, calling for two specialist children’s homes to be acquired for children with complex needs. Councillor Combley said: “Bristol’s current children’s homes are too large and unspecialised for children with complex social, emotional or mental health needs, so these children are often sent to homes far from the Bristol area. We know that for most children in care it is better to be closer to home, near their family and communities and where they can be supported by local social workers. In Bristol 1 in 10 children in care are placed more than 20 miles from their home.”
Green councillor welcomes additional landlord licensing proposal
Below is a response from Clifton Down councillor Carla Denyer to the consultation on landlord licensing launched by Bristol City Council today (16 Feb. 18).
Greens offer budget alternatives after lack of "practical or moral leadership” from Mayor
In response to a lack of practical or moral leadership coming from the Labour Mayor’s Office, Bristol Green Party Councillors have today set out a series of suggested positive and progressive alternatives to the council’s annual budgetary hand-wringing process.
20mph proven to be safer in Bristol
An authoritative report produced by the University of the West of England and commissioned by Bristol City Council has demonstrated the safety of the city-wide 20mph zone. Greens are demanding that this should put to bed the debate about the impact of such limits.
Green amendment calls for property developers to fund homelessness prevention
At next week’s budget meeting at Bristol City Council, Green Councillor Carla Denyer will call on the Labour administration to increase emergency funding for some of the most vulnerable people in Bristol, and pay for it by raising charges on private property developments which block roads.
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP
A summary of the latest Brexit news from Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato
“Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past”– Bundred report one year on
12 months ago the damning ‘Bundred Report’ revealed financial chaos, collective failure of leadership and poor management at the Council. A year on, Green Councillors have written an open letter to the Mayor saying more still needs to be done if the Council is not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Councillors should give up parking perks to keep our parks ad-free
Green councillor, Eleanor Combley, is calling on colleagues from all parties to give up their free parking spaces at next week's budget meeting, saying the money saved could be used to protect our parks instead.
Bristol's MEP exposes the unholy alliance of ‘Bad Boys’ behind Brexit
Bristol's Green MEP Molly is today launching a website to expose the ‘unholy alliance’ of men behind the campaign to leave the EU. The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ website contains details of the coalition of ‘far-right ideologues, climate change deniers, tax-dodging foreign billionaires and specialists in voter manipulation’ who successfully persuaded a majority of the public to vote to leave the EU.
How many times will the police get away with misusing tasers?
Green Party Councillors have responded with shock and dismay to the news that a man with autism was tasered by police in Bristol. The man was charged with assault, before the case collapsed after his mother submitted CCTV evidence which called into question the police officers’ account of the incident.
Green Group leader responds to increase in rough sleeping figures
This year government estimates of rough sleeper numbers rose for the seventh consecutive year. Councillor Eleanor Combley responded to the situation in Bristol.