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GDVs and the hidden values of placemaking with nightlife

Why developers should be smart in their quest for returns


Looking at traditional methods of development appraisal, the viability of a scheme is determined by financial models that evaluate schemes based on quantifiable information. With the drive in brownfield regeneration, cities are seeing unprecedented change with profits for residential developers are soaring.

Many developers would acknowledge that the relationship between nightlife and residential property is not necessarily a straightforward one. However, forward thinking developers are beginning to see the non-tangible benefits of night-time venues and live music spaces. These venues can add community value and create a positive image for developments.

Residential development is no longer just a case of building flats and achieving certain values. To make places worth living in developers must carefully consider the amenities that go into place-making and one of these is night-time venues. Delivering this cultural provision is easier said than done, and developers must be proactive rather than reactive to ensure all buildings are fit for purpose. They must consider physical and planning issues early in the development process to enable residential areas to co-exist with night-time venues.

But what about the noise? Modern sound proofing technologies can be implemented if buildings are earmarked for music venues and placement of buildings should be considered so that night-time venues are shielded by office space and public realm to nullify the impacts of excessive noise. Planning also offers possible solutions. Made famous by its ground breaking use by the Ministry of Sound, developers must consider using the Deed of Easement of Noise when developing residential housing near existing music venues. These deeds mean that developers must ensure future residents are aware of the nightclub, helping to prohibit complaints as long as venues are operating within their license conditions.

Of course, these issues are just the top layer of an complex issue, but I am confident if the various parties begin to adapt, we can all reap the benefits of nightlife establishments and provide a model that offers long term sustainability to the institutions that keep cities like London incredibly exciting and diverse.

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