Beloved Bristol nightclub Thekla faces threat from proposed residential developments
A #SaveThekla campaign has already begun
One of Bristol's leading nightclubs faces the threat of closure with plans to develop a nearby residential development at Redcliffe Wharf set to be debated on Wednesday 8th November.
In a statement on their Facebook page, the club, which featured in the hit C4 series Skins, commented: "Across the UK, an estimated 35% of grassroots music venues closed down between 2007 and 2015, many due to issues like this. Let's not let this happen to Thekla! #savethekla"
The proposed changes would redevelop derelict land across the harbour to turn derelict buildings into affordable homes, office and leisure space. Having already been approved by officers, the local planning committee is set to meet in two days to make a decision on the developments.
Thekla is concerned about being subjected to noise complaints from new local residents that would move in following the redevelopment. The club's owners DHP have raised concerns over the application as it currently stands. This includes their fear that the noise assessment previously carried out was "woefully inadequate" as it took place on a Monday and Tuesday night when Thekla might not even have been open for business.
According to The Bristol Post, if the committee approved the development then planning documents suggest that the city council's Pollution Control Team would need to undertake a new noise survey to take into account noise from Thekla over the weekend.
A range of organisations including DHP, UK Music and Music Venues Trust have now begun a campaign to save Bristol's best loved boat club. Mark Davyd of The Music Venue Trust, told The Post that: "Sensible and adequately planned residential developments near to grassroots music venues like the Thekla mean that residents and music lovers can happily co-exist."
"That outcome starts at the planning application stage when a good developer recognises the cultural value of the existing music venue and takes steps to protect it."
"Recognising the existence of an iconic music venue like Thekla starts with a thorough environmental impact study that specifically understands the noise in the area."
"Properly understanding noise and activity results in great design for any refurbishment or new building, ensuring noise is managed and controlled, and in commitments such as Deed of Easement and accurate marketing to future residents."
"We are concerned if that process has happened so far in the proposed development near Thekla and would encourage the developer to start it."