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Livingstone supports Ministry as Boris reconsiders planning application

By | Published on Monday 6 February 2012

Ministry Of Sound

With the London mayoral election now just three months away, Ministry Of Sound is hoping support from Labour hopeful Ken Livingstone will make incumbent Boris Johnson wary of meddling in a planning decision that, the club’s operators claim, could put the club out of business if altered.

As previously reported, Ministry last October succeeded in blocking a residential development opposite its South London HQ, fearing that the proposed apartment development would cause licensing issues for the superclub down the line. But, while the local Southwark Council planning committee accepted the clubbing firm’s concerns and refused developers Oakmayne Properties planning permission, Johnson, as Mayor of London, could still step in and overturn that decision. Johnson’s office is believed to be currently considering Oakmayne’s case.

But last week both Livingstone and his party’s leader Ed Miliband gave their backing to Ministry, declaring that Southwark Council had made the right decision, and Johnson should frankly keep his nose out of the South London district’s affairs.

Welcoming the backing from Team Labour, Ministry boss Lohan Presencer said on Thursday: “We are delighted that Ken Livingstone has today come out for Londoners and we thank him very much. Ministry works with politicians of all parties. This has never been about party politics – it’s about London. Boris is a mayor who for many has always been known to do the right thing. He needs to stand by his earlier pronouncements about London being one of the most exciting and unique destinations in the world and protect the future of one of the city’s most famous assets”.

Quoted by Digital Spy, the Ministry chief continued: “Every time Boris has called in an application to date, he has overturned the original decision and granted permission, flying in the face of the choice of locally elected Londoners. If he does so again, he condemns Ministry Of Sound to death. We want to know why the Mayor chose to get involved in this one case, out of the many thousands that are determined by local authorities without his intervention every year. It’s no good saying you want to kick start the regeneration of Elephant And Castle if you’re kicking the most successful local business and employer in the teeth”.