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Passing Clouds: Plans submitted to reopen Dalston arts hub as music venue

PUBLISHED: 12:20 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 18:57 12 October 2017

Passing Clouds, before and after being repossessed. (Picture: www.samr.co).

Passing Clouds, before and after being repossessed. (Picture: www.samr.co).

Archant

The old Passing Clouds venue could reopen as a music spot after plans were submitted by the landlord – complete with an extra storey on the roof.

Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16. Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16.

The proposals were submitted at the end of July by Landcom North London, which is linked to Landhold Developments, the firm that bought the building in 2014 and evicted the arts group last year.

Planning papers reveal the Dalston venue would stay as a “hub for music activities for the public”, as required by the Asset of Community Value (ACV) status it was granted by the council last year.

The report reads: “The venue would host live music most nights downstairs as well as cultural events throughout the week with a focus daytimes on community led projects.

“During the day there is the potential to record and film live performances for use on an internet channel in the live space.”

Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16. Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16.

Regarding the intended extension adding another floor to the historic building, developers say: “The additional floorspace will enable a wider range of activities to take place with the building and allow for the support services, offices and/or an internet radio station.”

The venue has been closed since Passing Clouds went out fighting in summer 2016. Bailiffs had been sent in to change the locks overnight in June but hundreds of members of the arts community descended onto Richmond Road to take it back.

They were finally evicted in the autumn following huge protest marches – and the chances of them moving back in look remote if plans are granted.

“They want a 400 per cent rent increase,” Passing Clouds’ former boss Eleanor Wilson said. “They may be able to get it from someone else but there is no way it would be able to stay a community asset. The rent needs to be affordable for the community.”

Passing Clouds, of Richmond Road. Passing Clouds, of Richmond Road.

The group are now rallying people to oppose the plans, believing that if the council rejects the application the owners could be forced to reopen negotiations with them.

Landhold Developments said it had repeatedly held meetings with Passing Clouds and invited them to submit a proposal to rent the building again.

A spokeswoman added: “In the two years we have owned the property we have not received a business proposal or any financial information to evidence their ability to rent the premises.

“It is our intention to obtain planning permission for the previous use and then seek to offer the premises on a new full repairing and insuring lease [where the tenant is responsible for repair and maintenance] to music and leisure operators.

Passing Clouds supporters march along Kingsland Road to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16. Passing Clouds supporters march along Kingsland Road to the venue in Richmond Road Dalston on 17.09.16.

“Thereby the property can continue to be a venue for the community to enjoy.”

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