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Charlotte Krol
6 November 2023, 13:15

Disused Peckham Palais venue could become a club again under new planning application

A new nightclub that will stay open until 6AM is part of proposals for the Victorian-era building

Outside view of the former Jones & Higgins building in Peckham
Malc McDonald (Creative Commons)

A former nightclub in Peckham could reopen under a new guise if a recently submitted planning application gets approval.

Peckham Palais, a club centred around house, techno, dubstep and bass that closed more than a decade ago, was located in the former Jones & Higgins department store building. 

The disused Victorian-era shopping centre, which has fallen into disrepair since being left vacant and is considered an ‘endangered building’ (at risk of demolition), could get a new lease of life as a club that stays open until 6AM.

Local London media reports that the Neo-Renaissance building, which first opened in 1867, may house a new club as well as other leisure spaces and offices. The building, with its distinctive clocktower, is located on the corner of Rye Lane and Peckham High Street.

London On The Inside has seen a planning application issued to Southwark Council in October that details a club and management plan, with suggestions that the venue could stay open until 6AM on Fridays and Saturdays, 5AM on Sundays, and 11PM Monday to Thursday.

If plans go ahead, the new, as yet unnamed club will be based out of the building’s basement, while the ground level will act as a reception. The first floor will be a bar with food, the second will be an event space, and at the top will be an office and studio. 

The Victorian building, which will require extensive repairs, will also play host to theatrical productions, movie screenings, dance performances and more over its five floors.

It’s hoped that the new venue will improve what an architectural firm described as a “lack of” live music venues in the area. Earlier in the summer, a new vinyl-only hi-fi audio bar, Jazu, opened in Peckham, while another local spot, Jumbi, founded Nathanael Williams and Rhythm Section's Bradley Zero, was recently granted a 2AM licence. Jumbi also recently celebrated its first birthday.

The former Jones & Higgins department store building, which closed in 1980, isn’t listed despite local campaigners’ efforts to get it recognised by Historic England (via Southwark News).

Southwark Council’s planning committee would have to approve the plans before any conversion gets underway.

Local residents have until 14th November to submit their responses about the proposals. The upcoming determination date for the plans is 11th December.