UK Hospitality has called on the government to adopt planning policies that will allow hospitality businesses to “achieve their potential”.
In its submission to the National (England) Planning Policy consultation the industry body called for safeguards for music venues and nightclubs, specific legislation focused on supporting tourism as well as increased speed and flexibility in the planning process.
The implementation of the Agent of Change bill, expected to have its second reading in the House of Commons in June, is identified as a key priority for UKHospitality.
If passed into the law, the bill will give protection to nightclubs, bars and music venues when residential developments are approved in their vicinity by placing the responsibility for ensuring new dwellings are protected from noise on the developer, not the existing venue.
The bill, which has the support of high-profile figures such as Sir Paul McCartney, comes after the Music Venue Trust and UK Music estimated that a third of venues have closed in the past decade.
Chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls said: “Nightclubs, bars, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector have an opportunity to stimulate growth around the UK and revitalise town and city centres. Too often, however, we see planning restrictions in place that prevent businesses from achieving their true potential and local areas miss out and suffer as a result.
“We have taken this opportunity to highlight the potential of the sector to the government and shown exactly what can be done to free businesses from legislative restrictions to the benefit of communities.
“Chief among these is the UK-wide introduction of the agent of change principal. The Mayor of London has already acknowledged the benefits presented by the scheme and it is time the government introduced it, along with other similar positive action, on a national scale.”
Source: The Caterer