Bosses promise ‘no One Direction’ as Keats House wedding plan faces legal threat

Keats House reopens after refurbishment

Keats House reopens after refurbishment - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Residents have threatened to launch legal action to stop weddings being staged at the house where poet John Keats fell in love with Fanny Brawne.

Neighbours of Keats House in Keats Grove, Hampstead, where the Romantic poet lived between 1818 and 1820, say they will consult lawyers if the City of London Corporation, which runs Keats House, does not drop the plan.

They are concerned about an influx of traffic into Hampstead’s congested streets at weekends, noise pollution and even the potential for accidents.

Myra “Bubbles” Polya, a former Camden councillor who lives in Heath Hurst Road, directly behind Keats House, said: “If they pursue it, then legal action will be taken.

“There is so much that has not been considered by the City. They have not thought it through.”

The Corporation’s culture, heritage and libraries committee discussed the weddings proposal at its latest meeting on Monday.

The body says its aim is to “maximise income” in order to protect Keats House and its collection.

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City spokesman Andrew Buckingham said the house’s financial situation “is not strong”.

He said: “Some residents might think it’s the thin end of the wedge, which is absolutely not the case. We’re not going to have One Direction or Lady Gaga blowing out from the Chester Room.

“These will be low key, very dignified events. There’s not an awful lot between this and what some residents might be holding in their back gardens.”

Mr Buckingham said the committee had taken residents concerns on board and decided to delay the plans, to allow for further consultation to take place.

A licensing application has already been lodged with Camden Council, but the City has promised to “hold off from doing anything” until early next year even if it is granted.