LONDON ASTORIA FACES NEW THREAT OF CLOSURE

the local council say they will take the venue's owners all the way to the Crown Court...

LONDON’s famous ASTORIA venue could still face closure after WESTMINSTER CITY COUNCIL said they will take the owners of the popular venue to the Crown Court.

Venue owners Mean Fiddler were faced with closure in March after the council refused to renew the venue’s licence due to problems with violence. However, Mean Fiddler appealed to Horseferry Road Magistrates Court and secured a new licence on March 19.

A spokesperson for Westminster City Council told Reuters: “We are seeking further legal advice as how best to proceed but in the meantime we are working with the club to ensure that the general public’s safety is paramount.

“Any improvements to a bad situation are welcome. But now we’re taking this further up to the foodchain to a Crown Court.”

The venue, which has played host to such acts as Coldplay and Travis over the past year, came into the spotlight in November 2001 when two people were shot outside the venue during a So Solid Crew gig.

Aside from this incidentWestminster City Council said in eight months to May last year there were 152 calls to emergency services, 27 assaults and15 more reported assaults.

Mean Fiddler chairman Vince Power said the venue has eliminated problems with violence.

He said: “We’ve had problems, but they’re now solved, the police said things are now OK, and this is now getting political. This would be an appalling waste of public money, and I struggle to understand what the council would stand to gain from seeking its closure.”

The London Astoria has a capacity of 2,000 and attracts an average of 380,000 people every year.