Protestors reclaim London venue Passing Clouds after developers change the locks

The venue is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year

London venue Passing Clouds has been reclaimed by protestors after developers changed the locks, shutting venue staff out.

The incident is part of a long-running problem the venue has faced, since developers Landhold Developments purchased the building in Hackney, apparently secretly.

Venue staff claim the company informed them they had no intention of selling the building, later to be told it would be transformed into offices. Passing Clouds were given until May 2016 to vacate the premises.

As Fact reports, Landhold’s Garry Simpson agreed to give the venue an extension of three months beyond that date, but then decreased that to only one month on the condition that they write a letter stating: “Passing Clouds were leaving the building voluntarily due to being unable to sustain the business and buildings”.

Passing Clouds declined to comply with this and informed Simpson they would continue with the original agreement. At 6:30am on June 16, a private security firm is said to have changed the locks on the venue without legal paperwork, on behalf of Landhold.

Venue staff arrived at Passing Clouds to find they were locked out and gathered 200 of the local community to help them gain entry to the venue.

The Passing Clouds team is now petitioning Landhold Developments, asking they provide them with either a long-term lease or sale of the building.