Artist finds new Village bar too close for comfort

Henry Gundry-White at his window with the pillar and, below, the pillar from the ‘secret’ staircase

Lost in Brixton, the new bar built above the market stalls of Brixton Village, opened to glowing reviews from smart lifestyle magazines, but has not impressed one of its nearest neighbours.

Artist Henry Gundry-White rents three railway arches with entrances in Valentia Place. But they back on to Brixton Village with windows overlooking the covered market – and now Lost in Brixton.

Arriving for work one day, he was amazed to find that one of the massive wooden pillars holding up the platform that supports the 440-customer bar and eatery had blocked one of his window and that he could not open others fully or at all.

And while publicity for Lost in Brixton makes much of its “secret” staircase, that staircase is no secret to Gundry-White. He says that, while he received and continues to receive notice of other work done by the new owners of Brixton Village, he was never consulted about the new “mezzanine” bar that is just a few feet from his window.

He has been told that his windows could be moved and that they could be double-glazed, which is not what he wants. He is also concerned about the noise from the bar.

While it has planning permission only for “ambient” music, Gundry-White said that the market owners had suggested to him that “ambient” could reach the same volume as the four trains an hour that take about 15 seconds each to pass over the arches.

Both Hondo Enterprises, that owns the market in a joint venture with the giant New York based finance company Angelo Gordon, and his landlord, the Arch Company, have said that they will endeavour to sort out his problems.

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