Koko blunder was a one off, says Camden Council

Koko nightclub in Camden

Koko nightclub in Camden - Credit: Archant

A blunder which saw flats given planning permission next to a Camden nightclub was an isolated error, officials have claimed.

Koko and the Hope and Anchor

Koko and the Hope and Anchor - Credit: Archant

Camden Council’s planning department was criticised by a QC, who overturned plans to covert the Hope & Anchor pub into eight flats, next to nightspot Koko.

A legal ruling last year said councillors had been “significantly misled” because of errors, and planning permission should not have been granted.

It followed an appeal by Koko’s owners.

An update shown to politicians this week from planning chief Councillor Phil Jones said: “(Nathalie Lieven QC) recognised that a number of procedural mistakes were made, and agrees with the judgement that cumulative impact of these led to an incorrect decision being made in this instance.

“However, she also recognised the context of this being a single case in a busy planning service, tasked with handling numerous very complex applications at any one time.”

Koko’s lawyers successfully argued last year that new flats had no place next to a nightclub, and that potential noise complaints would harm businesses.

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Camden Council had previously granted planning permission in January last year.

Cllr Jones said following the ruling that permission should not have been given that changes have been made to the way officers handle applications.

He said: “Whilst it is disappointing that the court decided to quash, I am satisfied that the lessons are being learned and that officers’ proposals will serve to reduce the risk of successful change in future.”