Date lodged: 15 February 2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will implement the Agent of Change principle in the Scottish planning system to ensure that new development does not threaten the viability of live music venues.
Answered by: Kevin Stewart 16 February 2018
Live music venues are crucial to supporting emerging and established talent and maintaining the vibrancy of our town centres. I recognise the campaign that has been led by the Musicians Union, Music Venues Trust and the owners of some of our leading music venues. I am happy to commit to including the Agent of Change principle in the next revision of the National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy, work on which will begin this year. Our Planning Bill will combine these documents and enhance their status as part of the development plan, giving them greater weight in planning decisions. In the meantime I have asked the Chief Planner to write to all planning authorities highlighting this commitment and asking them to act now to ensure that the potential impact on existing music venues is taken into account when assessing planning applications for new development. The Planning Bill does not need an amendment to reflect the Agent of Change principle.