Brixton’s Club 414 wins court battle with developers, but the fight for survival continues

Brixton's Club 414 wins battle with developers over its future, but the fight for survival continues

Brixton’s popular Club 414 on Coldharbour Lane has won a reprieve in its fight to ward off developers who want to turn the popular club into three luxury flats and a retail outlet.

One night in Brixton: having it large at the Club 414 - Saturday 30th January 2016

After Lambeth council rubber-stamped plans to evict the club and its owners, Anthony Pommell and Louise Barron (who have lived on the premises for over thirty years), successfully won the right to challenge the decision in the High Court with a judicial review.

This was permitted because the council had not adequately followed guidelines laid out in its own statement of community involvement and its unitary development plan (UDP), which states:

Public involvement is a key component of the planning process. If strategies such as the new plan are to reflect the priorities of local people and local businesses, then there needs to be genuine engagement from the outset.

One night in Brixton: having it large at the Club 414 - Saturday 30th January 2016

Yesterday, the freeholders stood down and withdrawn their defence against the challenge, although this may only be a temporary reprieve as there is a further court case concerning the lease scheduled for July.

As is explained in the statement from the 414 (reproduced below), a new ‘change of use’ application may well be submitted.

This means that although this particular battle has been won, the freeholders may continue to pursue their plans to destroy one of Brixton’s longest running clubs.

Brixton's legendary Club 414 threatened with closure and redevelopment

A change.org petition to Reject the Planning Application for Closing Club 414 was set up last year and currently needs around 90 signatures to reach its target of 2,500.

Trance and techno DJs unite for a Save Club 414 benefit in Brixton, 30th Jan

All this comes at a time when people are growing increasingly concerned about the rate of club closures around the capital.

A new ‘Night Life Matters‘ campaign was recently formed to fight the strict licensing laws and aggressive housing development that are impacting on venues, Chairman Alan Miller commenting:

In Britain millions of people go out every week and enjoy some of the world’s best music, clubs and bars up and down the country.

The silent majority that loves going out, socialising, dancing, eating and drinking, meeting new friends and getting inspired will now have the chance to have our voices heard and make a difference.

By supporting Nightlife Matters, a message is sent to local councillors and MPs that we want nightlife protected and celebrated, not destroyed

The campaign calls for more flexible licensing hours and an end to clubs being targeted over bad behaviour a by a minority of customers.

One night in Brixton: having it large at the Club 414 - Saturday 30th January 2016

Here’s the full statement from Club 414:

UPDATE ON THE JUDICIAL REVIEW FOR CLUB 414 BRIXTON

…Well where to start….

A refresh first ….

The freeholders of the premises put in for ‘a change of use’ with Lambeth Planning to turn the premises from a club on the ground floor, a bar/chill out area with smoking terrace on the first floor and our accommodation on the second floor, into a shop/restaurant on the ground floor, two flats on the first floor and leaving the flat on the second floor.

After many objections the application changed, dropping the restaurant from the application. As this was an obvious stumbling block for the success to get permission granted.

Regardless of all the objections, support of a Lambeth Councillor, petitions and policies that most defiantly should have been taken into consideration, the application was granted.

With so much support from so many being given, the longevity of the 414, the unbelievable feeling of injustice this was unacceptable.

Plans were then put into motion with help from Helen Hayes our MP, Councillor Rachel Heywood, Jonathan Clay and Matt Lewin of Cornerstone Barristers, to start proceedings for a judicial Review at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Mr Justice Collins granted permission on all grounds of challenge advanced (8 in total) for a judicial Review.

The court date scheduled for the 18th May 2016 at The Royal Courts of Justice Strand London WC2.

Lambeth Council withdrew from the challenge, but the freeholders as the interested party carried their defence on.

THE UPDATE

….The 414 has great pleasure to announce that the freeholders have now stood down and withdrawn their defence against the challenge.

Sadly…there will be no need to attend the Royal Courts of Justice for a judicial review on the 18th May 2016. Although we had prepared mind body and soul to attend for the occasion with all of you for a day out in the highest court in the legal system in this fair land …… nevertheless this should be looked at as a victory. A celebration a party instead of a day out must follow shortly……YAY…..as if the 414 needs an excuse to party…..

CONCLUSION

Although there is no case, which means the granted planning approval has now been ‘Quashed’ (no longer permitted), this does not mean Club 414 is out of the woods.

There is a further court case concerning the lease scheduled for July.

It may well be the case that a new ‘change of use’ application will be submitted, before this date, with the process for all the petitions and objectors to voice their concerns again, to enable the 414 to remain in with a chance to have the application refused by Lambeth Planning, which needs to be obtained, so for our renewable lease for a further 10 years to be successful….

Maybe this will not be the case and life could take a turn for the better and the Freeholders may decide to just renew the lease, knowing how much the 414 is loved by so many around the world, along with the important role it has played and will continue to play in Brixton’s night time economy……

One thing for sure is that without all of ‘YOU’S Our customers past and present, Councillor Rachel Heywood, Helen Hayes MP, Cornerstone Barristers Jonathan Clay and Matt Lewin, Riz and Vickrum of Neumans solicitors, fellow business’ and residents of our local area, the 414 would have not been able to of come this far with the situation it found itself with. For this we ‘Thank You’ from the bottom of our hearts.

This has really been a most humble and enlightening affair showing us how much 414 have entwined all our lives together over the years.

Once again ‘Thank you’…

Love T and Louise

414 Brixton

More info:

Club 414
414 Coldharbour Lane,
Brixton,
London,
SW9 8LF
www.club414.org

An online petition to save the club has attracted over 2,400 signatures, and you can discuss all the news related to Club 414 on our forum.