Published on November 21, 2013 | by Hannah Lockley

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Mayor delays Ministry of Sound planning decision

External view of the current Eileen House

Ministry of Sound was threatened with closure due to the redevelopment of Eileen House at Elephant & Castle [Seren Jenkins]

Mayor Boris Johnson has delayed a final decision on a planning application to redevelop the Eileen House site on Newington Causeway until December 19.

He wants the developers of the site, Oakmayne Properties, and the operators of the nearby Ministry of Sound nightclub to use the time to resolve their differences – primarily over noise –  so he can determine the application formally.

A 41-storey residential block is planned to be built as part of the Elephant & Castle regeneration scheme directly opposite the club, which opened in 1991.

Ministry of Sound called upon the help of the Mayor after fears the club would be forced to close down if residents made noise complaints.

A message from the online campaign said: “Only one person can be the saviour of Ministry of Sound – Boris, be our hero.”

Following a lengthy meeting of the parties involved on November 20 Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound’s CEO, has said the outcome was “bitter-sweet” and that they “got what they wanted”.

“It’s great but it’s taken four years and £1 million. It’s bitter-sweet and of course it’s good because it means the club will be safe.

“It’s taken so much time and money when it could have happened more productively if they had been more pragmatic. But we got what we wanted.”

Presencer seems optimistic about the future, but hopes that he can come to a fair agreement with the developers: “The Mayor has said his objectives are to develop Elephant & Castle and to protect Ministry of Sound. He is going to send a representative to the next hearing to make sure both sides are fair.

“We are reasonable; all we want is to make sure the things the developers have promised will happen and that we will continue to make noise at the levels we always have, it’s not the most unreasonable things to ask for.”

 

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