November 20, 2013 18:03
Ministry Of Sound ordered by Boris Johnson to reach private deal with housing developers
The future of the club has been threatened by a nearby housing project
Johnson has told the nightclub company to come to a private deal with the housing development which is planned next to the dance Mecca in London's Elephant & Castle. The development has long threatened Ministry Of Sound's future, as the club fear noise complaints from their new neighbours will result in its closure.
Ministry appealed the development plans, but the planning committee of local borough Southwark unanimously rejected it. Yesterday (November 19) Johnson listened to both sides of the argument and said that the club and the housing developer have a month to come an arrangement which would secure both of their futures. Music Week reports that any such deal with likely rest on sorting sufficient noise insulation.
Speaking to Music Week, Lohan Presencer, chief executive of Ministry Of Sound, said: "We're encouraged that the Mayor has chosen to adjourn the decision and we're confident he recognises that the solutions we are putting forward will ensure all parties are happy with the outcome... As the Mayor has requested, we will sit down with the developer to work on a mutually agreeable, sustainable solution – one which will deliver housing for London and safeguard the future of our club."
Ministry Of Sound bosses recently made a last minute plea to Johnson to save the superclub. In a letter published in the Evening Standard, Presencer said they would be asking the Mayor to ensure a legally binding guarantee that the club can continue to make noise at the same levels it always has done and that developers will ensure buildings are acoustically sealed.
Last year, developer Oakmayne Properties' planning application to build a 41-storey luxury residential tower block next to the nightclub was rejected, on the grounds that it breached several policies including providing no social housing, excessive height and overcrowding as well as the noise impact from the club on residents. However, Johnson 'called in' the application, something he has done four times since coming to power in 2008. In each one of these cases he has overturned the rejections and granted approval.
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