London venue Koko wins court battle over plans to build flats nearby

High Court claim planners had significantly misled Camden Council

Plans to build a block of new flats next to London venue Koko have been overruled by the High Court.

Planning permission was granted for the Hope & Anchor pub to be converted into eight flats near the Camden nightclub.

However, a judge has now ruled that Camden Council had been “significantly misled” by information they were originally given by planners.

Vidacraft Ltd intend to build a three-storey extension to the property, with either shops or estate agents on the ground floor.

Their plans will now have to be resubmitted to Camden Council.

Obar Camden Ltd, who run Koko on Camden High Street, feared that new residents of the proposed flats would complain about noise levels, possibly putting the venue at risk of closure.

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Earlier this year, London Mayor Boris Johnson said it’s “worrying” that London venues are being forced to close due to rising property prices and redevelopment in the capital.

Johnson described venues as “teeming wombs of London talent” and stressed the economic importance of the UK’s homegrown talent to the country’s economy.

Johnson said: “For the last six or seven years, I’ve been making an impassioned speech in which I point out how London has more live music venues than any other city on earth. It’s in those venues, those teeming wombs of London talent that of course we hope to produce not just fantastic music now but the next Rolling Stones, the next Adele, the next Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith.”

He continued: “They’re of huge economic importance, not just cultural importance, to our city, and that’s why it’s so worrying that we’re seeing the pressure from property prices, from development, take away so many of those live venues across town. That’s why we’ve set up the live music venue task force and why their work is so important. Let’s keep our live music venues live in London.”