Ministry of Sound is today reflecting on the decision made by the London Borough of Southwark’s Planning Committee whose members voted overwhelmingly last night to reject an application for planning permission for Eileen House. Had this application been approved, the impact upon Ministry of Sound's business would have been catastrophic and resulted in our closure.
Five committee members voted to reject the application and there was one abstention. There were no supporters. We at Ministry of Sound have always maintained that this application fell short on so many grounds and the overwhelming nature of the rejection raises serious questions as to why Southwark's Planning Officers saw fit to recommend approval in the first place.
Ministry of Sound is delighted with the decision as are the 200 people who work here, the 300,000 plus people who visit the club annually and the local businesses including pubs, taxi firms and takeaway shops who all depend on the trade from the huge number of people the club attracts to the area each year.
Lohan Presencer, our CEO, said this morning:
"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.
“Members have arrived at the correct decision and now is the time for all concerned to come together to find a positive vision for the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle. Ministry of Sound wants to play a key part in this.
"Ministry will today write to the Developer Christopher Allen to invite him to talks about the future of the Eileen House. The needs of the people of Southwark, the potential for an alternative vision for that site – these will be top of the agenda. Embryonic alternative plans, which have been drawn up with world leading architects Marks Barfield, will now be explored further.
“I’m delighted that the jobs of the 200 people we employ at out headquarters in Elephant & Castle have been saved. We do some great community work and its fantastic that we get the chance to continue to be the beating heart of Southwark.
“We always maintained that this was the wrong development in the wrong place, not just because of the catastrophic implications it would have had for our business, but because it was wrong in every way for the people of Southwark.”