Published: 23 May, 2014
by FARAH CHOWDHURY
A LAST ditch attempt has been launched to stop a “theme-park” redevelopment in the heart of London’s live music scene – Tin Pan Alley (pictured above).
A huge scheme that will see shops, restaurants, a hotel, night club, art gallery, offices and homes built on a triangular area of land between Denmark Street and Charing Cross Road was given planning permission last year.
But researcher and radio presenter Henry Scott-Irvine launched a petition last month, urging English Heritage and Camden Council to “preserve the heritage and integrity of Denmark Street”.
It has already picked up more than 6,500 signatures including pop star David Essex and Labour MP Frank Dobson.
Denmark Street, which is often described as a Mecca for musicians and music lovers all over the world, has seen the likes of The Libertines, Jeff Buckley and Adele pass through and perform some of their early shows, Mr Scott-Irvine said.
The street was also where Sir Elton John had his first job in the 1960s as a runner for Mills Music and is also home to the 12 Bar Club (pictured below).
The petition reads: “It is a unique place, with Grade II listing, and steeped in a history that should be preserved and maintained for future generations.
“Too many of London’s historical venues have been lost to developers or big businesses.”
Mr Scott-Irvine said there should be “no more Disneyfication of London” or “another tacky Trocadero”.
Before the plans were given the green light last year, a string of objections were lodged by a coalition of the Bloomsbury Association, the Covent Garden Community Association, the Seven Dials Trust and the Soho Society.
They said: “One of Camden’s key objectives is that the internationally iconic music based nature of Denmark Street remains and is enhanced.”
Other objections from residents said upper floors, used as music workshops and repair centres, would be lost.
They added: “This development is more like a theme park and the area will lose its famous character with its important historic links with British jazz, rhythm and blues and punk movements.”