1000 Trades welcomes the decision of the Planning Inspectorate to support Birmingham City Council in not allowing flats to be built next door to us.

In its Appeal Decision, the Planning Inspectorate noted:

The mitigation proposed is compromised by its reliance on the actions of a third party, namely the future occupiers, which is beyond the control of either the appellant (the developer seeking to build the flats) or the Council, and, consequently, the proposal would not suitably address the effect of noise from nearby commercial premises on the future occupiers of the proposed development.

This is a view consistent with that which we consistently expressed. For example, in one of various submissions that we made in relation to the proposed development, we observed:

It is impossible to imagine a more catastrophic impact upon our business than moving from being the home of events like Birmingham Jazz to closure. 1000 Trades is at risk of this outcome if the noise mitigation measures proposed in 2018/03393/PA fail – a risk that we feel abstract modelling undertaken by consultants cannot adequately mitigate, given the propensity for ‘real world’ factors to intervene.

Central to these ‘real world’ factors are how noise would have been experienced by occupants of the flats. If the planning system had allowed the flats to go ahead, 1000 Trades would have faced the perpetual risk of noise complaints, potentially leading to our licence being revoked and our business ceasing.

Therefore, while planning and licensing are distinct regulatory regimes, the crossover between the two is integral to this issue, especially from the perspective of 1000 Trades. This crossover is involved, for example, with the Agent of Change principle, introduced into the National Planning Policy Framework in July 2018. This has significant ramifications for Licensing Authorities and practitioners, which they continue to absorb.

1000 Trades has benefited from representation by Sarah Clover, a planning and licensing specialist from Kings Chambers in Birmingham. On the growing crossover between planning and licensing regimes, Sarah has written:

One clear outcome for all practitioners is that it becomes less and less viable to administer either regime in a water tight compartment. A working understanding of the mirror regime becomes more important all the time for regulators, and for those within the industry. Such an understanding, leading to early effective action at the decision-making stages has the potential to save significant resources further down the line, and this is a developing reality that operators and councils cannot afford to ignore.

1000 Trades hopes that Sarah is listened to. More immediately, though, we are relieved that this drain on our time and resources (non-trivial amounts in professional fees) has ended.

It puts us in a position where we feel more able to develop our live music offering. We will be doing this by applying for Arts Council England funding via the Supporting Grassroots Music Fund. We want to bring high-quality folk and world music, as well as jazz, to more ears in the Jewellery Quarter, building up a network of live music in our creative community.

We would like to thank not only Sarah but also Bob Albon, a building acoustics expert and invaluable support from Sandy Brown Associates, and, as ever, most of all, our patrons and friends in the Jewellery Quarter. We really could not do it without you. We hope you are as excited about the future of Frederick Street as we are.