London’s clubs and night time venues are to be protected from noise complaints by residents of newly built homes, Mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed.
In 2014 owners of the Ministry of Sound nightclub expressed concern that complaints from residents of a planned development adjacent to its entrance could force it out of business.
A deal was eventually brokered which saw the developers increase the levels of insulating features in the development and ask buyers to sign away their right to complain.
However the lack of statutory protection means other venues have faced similar threats, including the Curzon cinema in Mayfair which is being asked to foot a £500,000 soundproofing bill to stop noise from disrupting tenants of apartments being built above it.
Soaring land prices are also increasingly recognised as a risk to the capital’s night life as property owners seek to cash-in and sell buildings to developers who then evict popular and viable clubs, bars and attractions.
Appearing at Mayor’s Question Time on Wednesday, Mr Khan confirmed that an upcoming overhaul of London’s planning rules would give greater protection to venues.
Mr Khan said it was important to make it harder for developers to obtain ‘change of use’ permission for land, a move which could make many sites less attractive to developers, thereby safeguarding popular attractions.
In addition, the Mayor said he would give clubs and other music venues greater protection by establishing a standing rule that developers were responsible for protecting their buyers and tenants from noise.
Addressing members of the London Assembly, Mr Khan said: “Why should the owner of a live music venue or night club have to insulate their property when the flats being built are new?”
Mr Khan has previously spoken of the need to protect London’s night life and is currently assessing applications from candidates hoping to become his new ‘Night Tsar’.
Nicky Gavron AM, who questioned the Mayor on the issue, has welcomed his commitments.
She said: “Night clubs and music venues are the lifeblood of our capital’s night time economy.
“The response to the eviction of Passing Clouds in Dalston demonstrates the strength of feeling amongst Londoners when developers ride roughshod over these community assets.
“Early interventions from licensing authorities can mean the difference between a community retaining or losing these important venues.
“It’s great having a Night Tube, but we need to ensure revellers have somewhere to go.”