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Ministry down on developers planning flats next to superclub

By | Published on Friday 19 February 2010

Bosses at Ministry Of Sound have hit out at developers who are planning on building a block of apartments opposite the music firm’s flagship club venue in South London.

Ministry bosses fear that the new block of flats might result in new residents complaining about noise coming from the club, resulting in licensing complications, even though the music venue was very much first on the block. They are also rather pissed off, because when these concerns were raised with the boss of property developer Oakmayne, a bloke called Christopher Allen, he apparently responded: “Nightclubs come and go”.

In a press release that lists Ministry’s many expansive business interests, at the Gaunt Street site in London and around the world, as well as outlining the organisation’s support for numerous educational and community support initiatives, in South London and beyond, MoS boss Lohan Presencer said:
“When Oakmayne told us that ‘nightclubs come and go’, we were horrified. Ministry Of Sound is not just any nightclub; it’s the most famous nightclub in the world and the heart of a global entertainment business. These developers have cut corners at every stage and, counter to their claims, they do not have the best interests of the local community at heart. We must do everything in our power to save our club and our business”.

Responding to Ministry’s release with some fighting talk, Allen told the BBC yesterday: “Oakmayne confirm that they have worked extensively with the Ministry of Sound and Southwark [Council] officers to ensure that the scheme and the Ministry Of Sound can co-exist harmoniously. Oakmayne have also agreed to spend nearly £400,000 to assist in further sound proofing the Ministry Of Sound nightclub. Sadly for Southwark residents, the Ministry Of Sound will not withdraw their objections, so £20m of scheme benefits are now in jeopardy”.

6Music also quoted DJ Dave Pearce in their piece on this story. I think he’s throwing his support behind Ministry and dissing the developers, though given the words he’s used it’s not entirely easy to say. The BBC station quote him thus: “As we know we’re in difficult financial times, and a lot of Ministry’s business over the years has switched to that tourism, there are people all over the world, they all visit the venue, so to move it or close down for nine months would be a nightmare”. I’m not sure where the closing down for nine months thing comes from, and the BBC article doesn’t explain that point. Possibly that’s what would be necessary to install Allen’s £400,000 of sound proofing.