FATBOY Slim rocked up at a pub to back its bid to protect live music from a housing development.

The DJ, who lives in Hove, threw his weight behind music venue The Duke of Wellington’s campaign to make sure its grassroots live music scene will not be affected by a residential block that could be built next door.

He visited the Shoreham pub yesterday, ahead of a meeting between the owners and developer Hyde today.

The developer wants to build a residential block next to the pub and a public consultation will start at the beginning of March.

The owners fear their new neighbours on the site of the old civic centre, just off the A259, could complain about noise from the pub, which has been renowned for its live music since the 1960s and has hosted artists from David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson to Mott The Hoople singer Ian Hunter.

It also hosts a weekly performance group to nurture young musical talent, called Shoreham All Stars. Young artists get a chance to perform their songs in public.

Mason, nine, is a drummer and a regular at the sessions. He said: “I like coming down here every week. It’s really challenging, but I keep getting better and better.

“It’s a great chance to play in front of people.”

In the past, pubs have had to fight developers to hold on to their music licences and keep their doors open late.

But at The Duke of Wellington, the owners hope to protect themselves by using a new law designed to defend grassroots venues from big developments. Using the “agent of change” principle, councils can make developers take responsibility for any problems their projects cause for existing venues.

Since the legislation came into effect last year, developers – rather than music venues – now have to pay for the soundproofing of new homes near established places of entertainment.

Pub owner Jess Green said: “As a grassroots music venue the worst case scenario would be for us to join the ranks of pubs and clubs across the country that have closed through loss of trading hours or music licence after noise complaints from new neighbours.

“But, thanks to successful lobbying by the Music Venues Trust, Adur Council have assured us they will protect us from this threat.”

Adur District Council said: “We are aware of the new guidelines and fully support them.

“We will work with both developers and existing businesses to ensure they can cohabit spaces in harmony.”

The agent for change principle was enshrined in law after a national campaign backed by stars from the music industry. Paul McCartney spoke out in support, saying: “Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career would have been very different. If we don’t support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger.”