While the UK’s live music industry remains in limbo during the coronavirus pandemic, it might seem easier to put thoughts of returning to the dancefloor to the back of your mind, in hope of quietening that ache many of us are experiencing with venues closed. Unfortunately, the next most serious threat to UK club and live music culture – residential developers – are not putting their plans aside.
In less than two weeks, the first building application for residential properties in the developments around Motion will go to a committee, who will begin deciding the fate of one of the globe’s best nightclubs and a forerunner of Bristol’s world-famous underground club music culture.
Motion has been campaigning – with the help of Mayor Marvin Rees, Councillor Nicola Beech and Save Bristol Nightlife, among others – to place a Deed of Easement within the planning conditions that would ensure Motion’s protection long into the future.
This would supplement the Agent of Change principle – a battle fought and won in 2018 – that puts the onus on developers to ensure that buildings near to an existing music venue are adequately soundproofed, which in theory should protect the venue from noise complaints from future residents.
welcoming thousands of music lovers for a unifying rave experience through till the early hours
However, for some venues this simply isn’t enough. Part of the very fabric of a Motion experience objectively means noise and disruption – hosting soundsystems that can make your hairs stand on end, welcoming thousands of music lovers for a unifying rave experience through till the early hours, even the long queues outside to see some of the world’s biggest DJs, and the taxis that take us home.
A Deed of Easement would mean that Motion could continue to operate at the noise level it has lawfully for more than a decade, and future residents would be informed about any inconvenience they might experience from being located close to the music venue.
A Deed of Easement has already proved a success for other UK clubs
A Deed of Easement has already proved a success for other UK clubs in similar situations, including London’s Ministry of Sound, and if agreed upon by all nearby developments it would safeguard both Motion and future residents from any threat or tension arising from coexisting in the same space.
It’s already been a long and expensive battle
It’s already been a long and expensive battle, says Motion director Dan Deeks. And their defences have been inevitably weakened by the financial impact of keeping their doors closed in the fight against Covid-19. But what we individuals can do to help is put as much weight as possible behind Motion’s petition to introduce a Deed of Easement before plans are brought to committee on 27 May. If you haven’t already signed, please take two minutes to do so. Share it with your friends and networks. You can even write to the Development Control Committee (full details on how to have your say at Development Control Committees).
Cover photo by Alastair Brookes
Follow Motion for updates on @motionbristol
what we individuals can do to help is put as much weight as possible behind Motion’s petition to introduce a Deed of Easement before plans are brought to committee on 27 May