MU demands rescue of ‘legendary’ Stables from developers

The Musicians’ Union has joined the campaign to save The Stables, the music venue created by jazz stars Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine in 1970 in the grounds of their home near Milton Keynes.

The plight of the venue was highlighted in AI last week in a profile of its  chief executive, Monica Ferguson https://www.artsindustry.co.uk/feature/1207-milton-keynes-international-festival-city, and in a TaitMail post on Friday https://www.artsindustry.co.uk/feature/1218-taitaitmail-development-blight-on-dankworths-gift-to-youth-and-music.

Milton Keynes Council is to consider giving planning permission for a residential development 12 metres from The Stables’ front door, and would almost certainly bring the venue’s closure. The Stables has about 100,000 visitors a year.

The union sees the case as key to its campaign to save key venues for future performers and audiences.

“We call upon the local council to reject the relevant plans and safeguard a future for one of our major live music venues” said Dave Webster, MU national organiser for live performance. “Furthermore, the news of a threat to such a respected venue highlights why the union is fully behind the developments at government level with regards to protecting crucial cultural landmarks.

"The pledge to strengthen the National Planning Policy Framework, known as Agent of Change, will give MU members places to play and audiences to support them, in addition to giving venues the protection they so desperately need.”

In January the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javed, announced that the government was throwing its support behind a plan to protect music venues under threat from developers, whereby the developer of new flats wold bear responsibility for soundproofing to avoid the risk of new neighbours complaining about noise from an established nearby venue.

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