Caroline Lucas MP


BH2022/02492 – 47 Trafalgar Street


9th December 2022:


I've been contacted by several constituents who have concerns about the planning application submitted to develop the site at 47 Trafalgar Street for new housing. The concerns being raised by my constituents is due to the proximity of the site to the Prince Albert pub, a much-loved and popular pub and live music venue in the North Laine.


As the MP for Brighton Pavilion, I am acutely aware of the need for additional housing in the city, and also the preference for brownfield sites to be utilised for this purpose. However, I share my constituents' concerns about the

potential risks a housing development could pose so close to an established live music venue like the Prince Albert. I actively lobbied the Government about the need for better protections for live music venues and, I pushed for, and I support, the agent of change principle. As Brighton and Hove City Council will be aware, the agent of change has been incorporated into the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which notes that:


"187. Planning policies and decisions should ensure that new development can be integrated effectively with existing businesses and community facilities (such as places of worship, pubs, music venues and sports clubs). Existing businesses and facilities should not have unreasonable restrictions placed on them as a result of development permitted after they were established. Where the operation of an existing business or community facility could have a significant adverse effect on new development (including changes of use) in its vicinity, the

applicant (or ‘agent of change’) should be required to provide suitable mitigation before the development has been completed."


Grassroots music venues play an important role in the city's night-time economy, and Brighton and Hove is well known for its vibrant and creative arts sector and for its role nurturing new talent. It is vital that councillors considering this planning application reflect the spirit of the agent of change in any planning decision made to ensure that the future of the Prince Albert is not placed at an increased risk as result of any new development. I am aware that many councillors and officers are already alert to the risk grassroots music venues face, and that this is something which has been a factor in discussions for the City Council's City Plan. When this application is discussed by the Planning Committee, I encourage councillors to ensure that the rich history of the Prince Albert is taken into consideration, and its value as an important part of the fabric of the city's music scene is properly recognised. Protections need to be in place to ensure that any new development does not create a potential noise nuisance issue which could later threaten the existence of this venue.