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Finborough planning appeal knocked back in latest victory for fringe theatre

There are plans for plans for three residential flats to be developed above the Finborough auditorium. Photo: Matthew Turner Finborough Theatre. Photo: Matthew Turner
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A planning appeal hoping to overturn a decision to prohibit flats being built above London fringe venue the Finborough Theatre has been dismissed.

It is the latest decision in a process that stretches back several years, and has seen three planning applications for residential developments, and subsequent appeals, rejected.

Last September, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea rejected the third application to build self-contained flats above the pub theatre’s auditorium, which the venue warned could have made it impossible to stage work and threatened its continued operation.

Despite this decision, an appeal was lodged by developers Anil Khosla and Associates earlier this year in an attempt to overturn the ruling.

Finborough artistic director Neil McPherson said he was grateful for the support the theatre had received throughout the process, but said renewed efforts to proceed with the development looked likely and that another planning application could be submitted.

“We want to thank everyone for their support but we suspect that the landlord is going to put in another application, so it may not be over yet. Basically it can go on forever,” he said.

The latest planning ruling, in September 2015, found that the applicant had failed to demonstrate that noise mitigation measures could be implemented while still providing an adequate living accommodation.

The theatre had also claimed that noise emanating from the theatre into the residential flats upstairs could have resulted in residents seeking a noise abatement order, which could have long-term implications on the theatre’s ability to stage work.

McPherson previously warned that a recent boom in building developments marked a “worrying trend” for smaller venues that could be affected by such developments.

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