Louise Barron and Tony Pommell, who created the 414 Club on Brixton’s Coldharbour Lane, have been refused the chance to continue to run it.
A beacon for Brixton nightlife through hard and good times, Louise and Tony started the club – which was also their home – with a small grant from Lambeth council in the aftermath of the 1981 riots.
Its freehold was owned by London and Associated Properties (LAP) – which sold Brixton’s covered markets, now known as Brixton Village, in 2018.
LAP bought the club’s premises, 414-416 Coldharbour Lane, in 2006. In January 2019 LAP created a company, Coldharbour APL Ltd, which owns the building.
Louise and Tony had to leave their home and club a few months later in May 2019 and in August of the same year Hondo Enterprises, which runs Brixton’s covered markets on a day-to-day basis, claimed it had bought the premises.
In fact, Coldharbour APL Ltd remains the registered owner of the property.
On 1 August last year, its two LAP directors quit and four new directors – two American and two Dutch – based at the London office of Angelo Gordon, a finance company headquartered in New York, were appointed.
Hondo Enterprises, which owns Brixton’s covered markets in a joint venture with Angelo Gordon, has one director, Taylor McWilliams. He is not a director of Coldharbour APL Ltd.
Planning consultants used by the Dutch firm AG Hondo Popes Road BV to progress plans for a 20-storey tower on Pope’s Road in central Brixton have now asked Lambeth council to confirm the planning status of 414-416 Coldharbour Lane as a night club.
Their request is on behalf of a “joint client” Coldharbour APL Ltd and Brixton Jamm – the Brixton Road club now rebadged as Brixton Courtyard.
Louise and Tony point out that, even though the 414 brand is theirs, neither Hondo Enterprises, nor Coldharbour APL Ltd, have agreed to their requests to lease the property to run the club again.
Their pioneering work kept Brixton’s night-time economy alive through difficult times and was recognised when Lambeth council made the club an “asset of community value” in January 2018.
In a statement to the Blog when Hondo Enterprises claimed it had bought the club, Taylor McWlliams confirmed the extent and importance of Louise and Tony’s work in Brixton.
He said: “Hondo recognise that Club 414 was a pioneer in Brixton’s night-time economy and the cultural heritage it holds for the area.
“As with the market … Hondo will look to protect the special character that has made the 414 so popular while also investing in it so it can continue hosting thousands of clubbers every year.”
McWilliams is a director of AG Hondo Popes Road BV whose plans for the 20-storey tower on Pope’s Road, have enraged many local people who charge that it will destroy the “special character” of Brixton.