London

Ministry of Sound fans fear Southwark flats development

Example
Image caption Example warns that Ministry of Sound fans "won't go quietly"

London's Ministry of Sound nightclub could face closure if a development of luxury flats goes ahead nearby, a group of its supporters has claimed.

Musician Example and club management and staff are set to present a 25,000-strong petition to Southwark Council which calls on it to protect the club.

They are concerned about a development near the club's Gaunt Street home.

They fear that if the flats go ahead, residents could submit noise complaints which could force the club's closure.

In addition to the 25,000 signatories on the petition, which will be handed over on Friday, Example and global dance music heavyweights such as Armin van Buuren, Judge Jules, Above & Beyond and Zero 7 have lent their weight to the campaign.

'Cultural ambassador'

Example, who is currently number one in the album charts with Playing in the Shadows, said: "Ministry of Sound has been here for 20 years, leading the way in dance music and becoming a cultural ambassador we should all be proud of.

"Why would anyone want to jeopardise that for the sake of luxury flats that do nothing for local people? These developers should know that we won't go quietly."

The nightclub's supporters are concerned about an application for a 22-storey tower, Newington Causeway.

A decision on the matter is due to be made at a meeting of Southwark Council's planning committee on 11 October.

Lohan Presencer, Ministry of Sound Group's chief executive, said: "I just hope that the council will listen to all of these voices calling on them in unison to do the right thing and save our club."

Fiona Colley, the council's cabinet member for regeneration, said Ministry of Sound "is a valued club, business and employer" in the area.

"We hope a balance can be struck which allows them to continue alongside the equally important regeneration programme for Newington Causeway," she added.

"We will continue to listen to local people and the parties concerned and ultimately the decision will be made at an independent planning committee."

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