Search

Camden busking laws to be enforced after judge rejects High Court challenge

11:59 11 March 2014

Jonny Walker (centre) leads a protest outside Camden Town Hall. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Jonny Walker (centre) leads a protest outside Camden Town Hall. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

Controversial laws to licence busking in Camden will be enforced by the council after a legal challenge to halt the new rules was rejected by a High Court judge.

Following a two-day judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice last month, judge Mrs Justice Patterson today ruled that Camden Council had adopted a lawful policy that was “both necessary and a proportionate response to the issue of busking”.

In October, comedian Bill Bailey and musician Billy Bragg joined campaigners in Camden High Street to protest against the new rules.

The change will mean anyone caught busking without a licence could be fined up to £1,000 and have their instruments confiscated. The use of amplifiers and wind instruments will be banned.

It follows an increase in complaints from residents about noise generated by street entertainers.

The licensing system was due to be introduced last month but was put on ice by the council until the conclusion of the High Court proceedings. Buskers will now be able to apply for a licence from March 24.

The ruling is a defeat for busking campaign group Keep Streets Live! which was ordered to pay £7,500 in legal costs.

David Wolfe QC, representing the campaign group, asked for permission to appeal, arguing that the ruling raised important legal issues and would have an impact on street entertainment across London.

But the judge refused permission and campaigners will now have to consider asking the Court of Appeal to hear the case.

Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “By introducing this policy, we’re able to strike a balance between the rights of performers to use public spaces and the rights of our residents to a quality of life free from noise nuisance, often late at night.

“We have purposely set the costs of licences at a level that is affordable, clearly showing we do not wish to discourage music or street performances, but to find a way that works for all.”

Jonny Walker, founding director of Keep Streets Live!, said: “We are disappointed with Mrs Justice Patterson’s decision and will now seek to have this case heard by the Court of Appeal.”

A “standard” busking licence costs £19 and permits performances in public areas between the hours of 10am and 9pm. Licences are valid for a 12-month period in most circumstances.

Buskers can apply for a licence at www.camden.gov.uk/licensing or by calling 020 7974 4444.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:59

Devotees of the late pop star are asking the City of London for a commemorative bench in George Michael’s “favourite park” for his fans to pay tribute to him

Yesterday, 17:32

Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland will join traders and members of the Camden Neighbourhood Policing team this Wednesday in the Belsize Kitchen.

Yesterday, 17:02

A man was beaten to death with a shopping trolley handle during a row, between two groups of youths in Willesden, a court heard.

Yesterday, 16:30

An influential publisher and Samuel Pepys enthusiast who lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb for 50 years has died.

Yesterday, 15:38

Theodore Johnson, 63, appeared at the Old Bailey this morning charged with murdering the 51-year-old last month.

Yesterday, 14:11

Homeless people in Camden are to be offered extra support as temperatures drop below zero.

Yesterday, 11:41

A pair of schools have had their newly-opened buildings blessed by bishops.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe has lost her appeal and had her five year sentence in an Iranian jail upheld by an Iranian court.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now