Passing Clouds: 364 people object to landlord’s bid for new venue at old Dalston arts hub

PUBLISHED: 17:32 04 December 2017

Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

Passing Clouds supporters march from Hoxton Square to the venue in Richmond Road last year. Picture: Polly Hancock


Hundreds of people have objected to plans for a new music venue at Passing Clouds after bosses of the old arts hub issued a call to arms.

Passing Clouds, before and after being repossessed. (Picture: Passing Clouds, before and after being repossessed. (Picture:

The proposals – which include an extra storey on the roof – 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.

But ahead of a town hall planning meeting next week, 364 letters of objection have been sent to Hackney Council, largely from people calling for Passing Clouds to return.

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.

Passing Clouds protesters on the march last year. Picture: Polly Hancock Passing Clouds protesters on the march last year. Picture: Polly Hancock

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

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.”

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.”

Related articles

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:27

An unbeaten half-century from James Harris saw visitors Middlesex complete an outstanding recovery to beat Leicestershire by one wicket in a marvellously tense finish to their Specsavers Division Two county championship match at the Fischer County Ground, Grace Road.

Yesterday, 17:28

Belgium and Tunisia have met on three previous occasions in all competitions, with a win apiece and a draw. The encounters have been tight affairs, with victories decided by one-goal margins, but today’s match didn’t follow the same trend.

Yesterday, 12:00

Gareth Southgate’s promising young England side look ready to make a mark on the world stage and help atone for the disappointments of recent tournaments.

Yesterday, 08:30

The drama surrounding the threat to Gillett Square continues apace with over 1,500 new signatories in the past month to the petition to Save Gillett Square, writes Adam Hart FRSA, chief executive officer Hackney Co-operative Developments (HCD) 1996-2012, co-director Vortex Foundation, resident and parent for over 35 years.

The temperature nudged the mercury towards nearly 30c as the man sat down on a bench, sited between Grace Road’s evocative pavilion and the sight screen.

Middlesex ended day three of their County Championship match at Grace Road on 82-3, 299 runs adrift with only seven wickets remaining.

Fri, 16:33

Brazil and Costa Rica were winless in their opening matches at the World Cup and were both hoping for their first victory of the tournament at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Middlesex bowled Leicestershire out for 186 in their second innings on a baking hot afternoon at Grace Road, to leave the visitors facing a challenging target of 381 to win.


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists