The Roundhouse wants to double the number of nights it stays open until 3am – but faces wrath of ‘shocked’ residents

The Roundhouse

Residents fear extra disruption if a legendary arts venue where David Bowie shot his Ziggy Stardust video is allowed to double the number of nights it can stay open until 3am.

The Roundhouse wants to run twice as many late-night events for up to 1,800 people – going from 12 per year to 24 as part of a new licence application.

Residents fear this would bring disruption at the 50-year-old venue, housed in a former Victorian railway repair shed and train turntable.

The venue normally opens from 9am to 1.30am daily and Camden’s licensing department said it had no complaints about the way it is run.

The extra extended hours are part of a new licence application to include alterations to the building on Chalk Farm Road and  the open space in between the concert and studio, bar areas and offices.

Kate Gemmell, who chairs TRACT (Tenants Residents Associations, Camden Town), said: “We believe this will cause additional public nuisance to residents.”

She fears the extra late nights would see them suffering noise and anti-social behaviour “from a large number of people spilling onto the streets at the same time late at night/early morning talking on phones, slamming car doors, urinating in gardens”.

There were 405 crimes in Chalk Farm Road in the last year, including sexual asaults, assaults, thefts, robberies, criminal damage, and public disorder, according to Met Police records.

The Roundhouse was transformed into a live  performance space 50 years ago and Pink Floyd played on the opening night.

David Bowie and the Manic Street Preachers are amongst the names who have performed there and it has also hosted some of the biggest names in theatre, circus and spoken word.

A licensing report said there have been no complaints about the way the venue is run. The Roundhouse Trust has agreed strict planning conditions including the use of CCTV, telling customers to leave quietly and holding quarterly meetings with residents.

Patricia Thomas, who chairs the Harmood, Clarence, Hartland Residents Association, wrote: “We were shocked to see that the Roundhouse was seeking to extend its already late hours to 3am on 24 nights a year – that is to say potentially every other weekend.”

She described how residents “suffer greatly from the effects of the night-time economy in the form of drunken behaviour such as shouting, fighting, swearing, street urination”.

She said it was at its worst from Thursdays to Saturdays.

The Roundhouse is planning to open a new creative centre for young people next year. It will have three rehearsal spaces for musicians and actors, a podcast studio and work space for 18-25-year-olds.

A Roundhouse spokesperson: “We operate with incredibly high standards at our events and have applied to increase the number of later licenses we have available to use each year to enable us to support our commercial income – later licenses are generally used for private events and functions and have a lower capacity.

“This vital income will help us to achieve our core charitable purpose of providing young people with a space where they can explore their creativity and build more positive futures for themselves.”

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