Camden nightclub Koko wins court battle over neighbouring flats plan

Koko nightclub in Camden

Koko nightclub in Camden - Credit: Archant

A Camden nightclub has won its court battle to prevent the pub next to it from being turned into flats.

Koko, at 1A Camden High Street, appealed to the High Court after plans to turn the Hope and Anchor pub into eight flats were approved.

The club and live venue’s owners, Obar Camden Ltd, today emerged victorious after a top judge ruled councillors had been “significantly misled” by planning officers.

The pub’s owner, Vidacraft Ltd, also planned to build a three-storey extension and either shops or estate agent’s offices on the ground floor.

Camden Council had granted permission for the project on January 6, but the ruling has now been quashed.


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The club’s lawyers argued the development had no place in the buzzing Camden centre, and would be at odds with the area’s character.

They said people who moved in would be likely to complain about noise from Koko and other nearby venues, which would be a threat to businesses.

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After Obar’s appeal, judge Mr Justice Stewart said councillors’ attention had not been drawn to the impact of the development on Koko.

Although a planning officer had been convinced the development would cause no harm, the judge said the process had been “truncated”.

Councillors, he added, had been “significantly misled” by the officer’s report in relation to certain aspects of the noise issue.

The council’s approach to planning conditions designed to mitigate the impact of noise on residents of the new flats was also irrational, he concluded.

The council will now have to reconsider Vidacraft’s application.

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