Passing Clouds supporters
Jubilant: Passing Clouds supporters outside the Dalston venue

Dalston venue Passing Clouds has been ‘reclaimed’ by protestors after the landlord changed the locks, shutting venue staff out.

The venue was able to open later to host its scheduled event.

The premises, which first flung open its doors ten years ago, was sold by the previous owner in September last year to a new landlord, Landhold Developments.

The lease expired last month, and so Passing Clouds were legally bound to vacate the premises.

Eleanor Wilson, the founder of Passing Clouds, last month told <em>Hackney Today</em>, the council’s fortnightly freesheet, how she she first began back in June 2006: “Our vision was unique and there was no model for what we were doing. On a business level,though, we were stepping into the unknown.”

“It all happened so fast. Suddenly, I had signed the lease and had the keys. It was the beginning of an incredibly steep learning curve.”

Passing Clouds is now petitioning its Landhold Developments, asking they agree to either with a long-term lease or sale to them of the building.

A spokesperson for the landlord, Landhold Developments, said: “Passing Clouds have been aware for many months that her lease was due to expire in May of this year.

“They have continued to occupy the premises without the landlord’s consent.

“Whilst there is no obligation on the landlord to serve notice in such situations, our solicitors wrote to Ms Wilson on two occasions to inform her that she was occupying as a trespasser and if she did not leave the premises immediately, the landlord would take back possession.

“Passing Clouds failed to respond to either of these letters and so bailiffs were instructed accordingly.

“Possession of the premises was lawfully taken back by the landlord on 16 June 2016, with two security guards remaining on site to protect the property

“Later that day, a mob of 30-40 people, forced their way into the property, damaging the new locks that had been installed and ejecting the security guards.

“Any occupiers who remain on the premises are occupying unlawfully which constitutes a trespass.”

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