Camden’s Roundhouse wins licence for more late-night events despite residents’ fears over noise

The Roundhouse

A historic arts venue where stars like David Bowie performed has won the right to hold events until 3am up to 24 times a year despite community concerns about noise.

The Roundhouse Trust applied for a new licence because of changes to the building with space for young performers up to the age of 30.

As part of the new licence it asked to double the number of events ending at 3am for up to 1,800 people to help bring in income to support young artists. So far this year, three such events have taken place at the Chalk Farm Road venue.

The Roundhouse also requested flexibility about loading equipment and de-rigging the stage after a show.

As the historic arts venue is in the Camden Town cumulative impact area, the council has a policy to refuse new applications unless they are persuaded to make an exception.

The new £7.2m creative space for emerging artists aged 18 to 30 is due to open next spring and the trust hopes to work with 15,000 young people a year by 2026.

Jay Bourley, the designated premises supervisor, said the new space will “provide better private function and event space to further objectives and increase funding” for the Roundhouse.

Licensing conditions previously outlawed de-rigging immediately after shows to avoid disturbing neighbours.

Bourley said this had caused problems for artists, including those on tours.

He said it can cause a “little bit of tension the next morning” because performers want to leave as quickly as possible.

Patricia Thomas who chairs the Harmood, Clarence, Hartland Residents Association told the licensing committee how customers leaving the many venues in Camden Town affect residents.

She said: “Anyone who knows this area knows the hours after 3am are the dangerous ones, the hours when crimes are committed, when its not safe to be on the street, the hours you will be woken up.”

She was also speaking on behalf of the chair of residents’ group TRACT (Tenants Residents Associations, Camden Town) and added: “There’s often a wave of noise coming down Chalk Farm Road waking people up at 3am.”

She urged the committee: “The sheer size of the audience makes late hours a problem – especially if people have been drinking.

“I ask the panel to consider the wellbeing of those living in the area. Twelve late nights a year is enough.”

Committee chairman Shah Miah said the Roundhouse Trust does “extremely valuable work in our community, they run the Roundhouse very well. It’s never crossed my desk as anti-social behaviour or crime or anything else.”

The licence was approved.

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