A new report issued by Moreland City Council suggests that it is backing plans for new apartments directly next door to Melbourne live music venue, Howler.
The Music broke the story last July that the future of the popular space was at risk following news of the project proposed to be built on a site at 8-14 Michael Street in Brunswick.
Howler owner Brendan Brogan told The Music, "It is the belief of our acoustics expert (Frank Butera, Arup) and Music Victoria that this design cannot meet the requirements of the Agent Of Change Law and therefore, that council should not have supported the proposal.
"We find it concerning that council is relying on the Renzo Tonin acoustic report submitted by the developers and has not done its own acoustic analysis."
If the proposal is supported, it would seemingly bypass the Agent Of Change principle, which protects live music venues from noise complaints by new residential developments.
A council meeting will be held this Thursday to decide whether the proposed developments move forward.
"The council report suggests that the Agent Of Change should be dealt with by performing tests, and any necessary rectification works after the structure is built," Brogan said.
"This is both impractical — if not impossible with regard to structure borne vibration — but also against the Agent Of Change Law."
Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan has also submitted a statement to council on the matter.
"It is critical that these planning laws are properly considered at the application stage and are able to be enforced during the development phase," Donovan's statement reads.
"This is critical for all current and future applications in the City Of Moreland where the Agent Of Change principle is applicable.
"It would also create uncertainty for the future assessment of similar projects for both the live music industry and developers. As a result we cannot understand how council is able to consider the application for approval.
"We urge council to defer its decision in this application and to review the process by which the application has been assessed to date.
"We further request the detailed submissions made by Howler and its consultants are taken into account to ensure the proposed development can comply with all of its obligations under the planning scheme and state environment policies."
The Music has contacted council and developers for comment.