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Ministry succeeds in blocking residential development next to superclub

By | Published on Thursday 13 October 2011

Ministry Of Sound

The Ministry Of Sound has successfully blocked plans by developers to build residential apartments across the road from the South London super club. The music company feared that if flats were built so close to its venue that it would ultimately lead to complaints about noise leakage from the clubbing complex, which would in turn cause licensing difficulties in the future.

Developer Oakmayne argued that it would triple glaze the apartments, and also that it had offered to pay to have sound-proofing put into the Ministry building. However, the club’s bosses argued that the developer’s sound-proofing proposals were unworkable, and – noting that Oakmayne boss Christopher Allen had once supposedly remarked that “nightclubs come and go” when discussing the issue of building flats next to the Ministry Of Sound – the 20 year old clubbing institution launched a petition, encouraging clubbers to back their bid to block the development.

Oakmayne’s planning application went before Southwark Council’s planning committee earlier this week, and the committee voted five to nil to reject the plans. Responding, Allen said he was considering whether to appeal the decision, telling reporters: “We are both confused and bitterly disappointed by the planning committee’s decision, which was made against their own officer recommendations and the weight of expert evidence in support of [the development]. What will [now] remain is a 1960s obsolete eyesore and the area, which desperately needs regeneration, will continue to stagnate”.

Needless to say Ministry CEO Lohan Presencer welcomed the decision. Music Week quotes him thus: “A huge thank you to the 25,000 plus people who signed the petition. Last night the Planning Committee showed why local democracy matters to this country. We are incredibly pleased that committee members have applied proper scrutiny to all the aspects of the application and its relation to planning policy”. He also revealed he was in discussions with an architect about the possibility of putting together an alternative plan for redeveloping the site next to his club.