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Save Womanby Street Campaign Victory

Save Womanby Street campaigners in Wales have won a significant victory in their battle to protect live music venues, as the Welsh government is set to revise its planning policy in line with the Agent of Change principle.

Published: 23 May 2017 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:28 PM
Save Womanby Street march to Cardiff City Hall

Save Womanby Street campaigners in Wales have won a significant victory in their battle to protect live music venues, as the Welsh government is set to revise its planning policy in line with the Agent of Change principle.

The Musicians’ Union (MU) has been a driving force behind the campaign since issues arose earlier this year around noise complaints and planning applications in this long-standing musical and cultural hub in the heart of Cardiff city centre.

We have worked closely with Save Womanly Street campaign organisers and grassroots music venue owners, and lobbied Councillors, AMs and MPs against development, making the case for designating such areas as of cultural significance to the night time economy and for cultural parity with the high arts in order to guarantee their future.

Paul Gray, MU Regional Organiser for Wales & South West England, said: “This is a huge victory and a fantastic result for music venues in Wales, and shows what a carefully-targeted campaign of well-organised activism can achieve in a short space of time.

“The Welsh Government has listened to our concerns and representations, and has today stated their intention to bring the Agent of Change principle within Planning Policy Wales.

“Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, also confirmed policy will be updated to allow the designation of areas of cultural significance for music within Local Development Plans.

“But this is just the start, and we will be working closely with the Save Womanby Street organisers, politicians and other stakeholders in setting up a live music task force to create a comprehensive music strategy to support the future of live music in Wales”.

Dave Webster, National Organiser Live Performance added “This is welcome news which supports the position taken in Westminster to endorse the Agent of Change into planning. Protecting our grassroots music venues protects local artists and the future of live music and cultural development across the UK.

“Under the Agent of Change 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.”

Read more via Wales Online.

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