Living Near a Theatre

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Its well known that one of the best businesses to be in is housing, and if you’re a civil engineer or builder than business could be really booming as there is a real shortage of housing in the UK currently with local councils having to find land that to be stocked for future houses.

But why, when developers want to build residential houses, do they choose to build near an entertainment venue? Moreover how do they sell the homes without telling them that there will be noise from the venue? Though as a side note I wonder if failing to tell potential customers that they could possibly be disturbed by the entertainment venue they are new home comes under the consumer act of fit for purpose goods.

But then why worry when most people view new homes during the day when the venues are closed, so why would the question about excessive noise at time of sale? When asked after sale about it the developer no doubt plays dumb, saying they weren’t aware or they never experienced the problem.

This is what would have happened to London’s Cambridge Theatre that now has restrictions meaning they cannot have any get in or get outs on a Sunday. This is a common restriction when new a residential estate is built nearby. Some a lucky to just get a curfew, but sometimes theatres are forced to make their buildings sound proof at their own cost.

Here in the 21st Century if you want to build a new entertainment venue anywhere you have to consider sound protection. So why is it, when a developer plans to build 25 flats in close vicinity to an arts venue that’s been around year before, shouldn’t sound proofing of the flats be considered or even made compulsory by the planning committee?

So recently there have been plans announced to build a hotel near the Adelphi Theatre in London and the Corn Exchange in Oxfordshire has the potential of housing being built close by. Once new people move in the complaints will start about noise, which will then put the venues under threat of restrictions or worse, closure.

While it is good to hear the government are currently going through a consultation period to guard theatres against these restrictions and extra expenses when the income is becomes less.  These protections would include ensuring that developers fully sound proof their new buildings to accommodate their neighbours.

It all just seems to be another dig at the entertainment business, another way of making things harder. While the industry struggles at times to finance works the amount of money it pours into the UK economy goes unnoticed and unsung. So it just seems the current situation where developers and planning committees are ganging up on theatres and venues in a culture that has become about self or as Burger King make us believe that we can ‘have our way’. The developers and the planning committees show no consideration for what is already there as an important part not just the national but world heritage.

Currently there is a consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework that every council has to use when considering planning application plans. It is no surprise to hear that the Theatre Trust advices that the planning applications around the Adelphi and Corn Exchange should be rejected. Mayor of London is in favour of the legislation change, saying that the city would become dormant if these plans are left to go ahead as they are and MP John Speller, who has previously proposed a bill on this matter to parliament suggests that the current applications should be postpones pending the outcome of the consultation. Either way is it the best way forward as we do need to protect our theatres of having unfair operating restrictions which could result in us losing our heritage and once these venues close it can be very hard to have them reopened.