Two Cardiff AMs are calling on the Welsh Government to change planning laws in Wales to protect the future of live music venues in the centre of Cardiff in support of the ‘Save Womanby Street’ campaign.
Music fans say the future of the venues could be in doubt as a result of planning permission given for hotel and residential properties on the street.
Responding to fears from constituents over the future of Womanby Street in the city centre, home to the renowned Clwb Ifor Bach music venue, The Full Moon, Fuel Rock Club, Bootlegger, and the annual Swn live music festival, Jenny Rathbone AM for Cardiff Central, and Julie Morgan AM for Cardiff North are calling for the Welsh Government to amend planning laws in Wales to include the ‘agent of change’ principle.
Jenny Rathbone, AM for Cardiff Central said: “Womanby Street is part of what makes Cardiff such a great cultural city, and it must be protected.
“Welsh Government needs to change the planning laws in Wales to include the ‘agent of change’ principle to protect existing music venues from bearing the cost of soundproofing or changing their opening hours – which are often enough to put them out of business. Planning is a devolved issue, so this is within the Welsh Government’s gift.
“Julie Morgan and I will be writing to the relevant Welsh Minister to call for the introduction of the ‘agent of change’ principle to Welsh planning laws.”
Julie Morgan, AM for Cardiff North, said: “I have been asked by constituents to raise this issue in the Assembly and I feel it is important that Cardiff residents – and visitors to our capital city – have the opportunity to hear live music in all types of venues including small, intimate places such as Clwb Ifor Bach which has played host to some big name bands on their rise to fame.
“We would like to see Womanby Street, which is home to some of the best live music in Cardiff, protected in the Council’s Local Development Plan as an area vital to the cultural night-time economy of our city.
“Cardiff has already lost The Point, which was an atmospheric small music venue, as a result of residential accommodation being developed around it. It would be a real blow to musicians and music fans in and around our capital city if Clwb Ifor and the other venues on the street were to go the same way.”