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Plan for members’ club at Clerkenwell’s Old Sessions House is back again...and neighbours are furious

PUBLISHED: 16:27 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:27 14 June 2017

Residents around Clerkenwell Green are complaining about the Old Sessions House being developed into a late drinking venue

Residents around Clerkenwell Green are complaining about the Old Sessions House being developed into a late drinking venue

Archant

Campaigners who have repeatedly seen off developers looking to turn a Grade II-listed building into a private members’ club are furious after discovering the latest plans have been marked for approval.

Satlia, which bought Old Sessions House in 2014, wants to create a 1,000-capacity venue with restaurants, bars and even a rooftop pool. But in the face of huge opposition the firm pulled proposals days before a decision was due in September, having already had an alcohol licence rejected for a lack of detail.

Neighbours say the number of people coming in and out of the venue would cause chaos in Clerkenwell Green, not least for the people in sheltered housing metres from the door.

But Satila has returned with new plans, which include longer hours than previously agreed. And furious neighbours discovered yesterday they have been recommended for approval by council planners.

Leora Neidle said one of the main fears people have is that there is nothing stopping the venue simply acting as a bar.

She said: “227 residents have objected, but the council has included none of the objections in the agenda for the meeting.

“We are concerned that they are asking for 23 per cent more hours than before. We have no idea why.

“There is no clarity at all on what business will be conducted on the ground floor.

“There should be restrictions placed on alcohol sales which should be linked to purchase of food during licensing hours more in keeping with the stated proposed use as private members’ club.”

Leora also believes the reasons councillors rejected the plans previously – concerns about responsible drinking and the potential for anti-social behaviour around the venue – have not been adequately addressed in the new plans.

A decision will be made on Tuesday.

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