Sunday20 August 2017

Now Ministry of Sound takes aim at SOM tower

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Nightclub asks council to pause second housing scheme while it brings in acoustic experts

SOM’s plans for a 40-storey “cultural quarter” at the Elephant & Castle have come under attack from both conservationists and the Ministry of Sound.

Historic England is worried about the impact it will have on views of the Westminster world heritage site.

Meanwhile the nightclub fears an influx of residents three doors down could force it to close – a battle it has fought once before over Allies & Morrison’s Eileen House flats. This was only approved after improvements were made to its acoustic performance.

Ministry’s lawyers have written to Southwark council asking it to put the Skipton House planning application on hold until a full assessment of the scheme’s resilience to noise has been carried out.

It has instructed acousticians to model SOM’s scheme and the impact the club would have on it, a process that could take four weeks.

“In the meantime, we … respectfully remind the [local planning authority] that no planning application may lawfully be determined unless the LPA has taken into account all the environmental information necessary for it to make its decision,” it wrote in a letter to the council.

It said the environmental statement in SOM’s planning application excluded “any assessment of the noise impact on the proposed development arising from the use of Ministry’s nightclub.

“As the LPA will recall, the issue of noise impact was a fundamental environmental and land use consideration for the neighbouring scheme at Eileen House and the same has been a key issue raised by the LPA for the proposed Borough Triangle scheme” [designed by Aedas and Stephen Marshall Architects, a mixed-use scheme this would include a new underground home for Ministry].

Skipton House, a health service building, stands on a large plot between Elephant & Castle Tube, South Bank University and the club in south-east London.

SOM’s redevelopment for London & Regional, which was submitted for planning in December, proposes 421 homes, 50,000sq m of offices, a 500-seat concert hall, a cinema and shops.

Historic England’s Michael Dunn said: The proposed tower would harm the significance of the listed buildings within the Westminster world heritage site by reducing the visual primacy of the historic buildings.” This would be particularly evident from the Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park, he said.

The planning application has also attracted a large number of complaints from residents including several arguing the scheme would damage the setting of Erno Goldfinger’s listed Metro Central Heights.

SOM and the Ministry of Sound have been contacted for comment.



Readers' comments (7)

  • Its not exactly the first time this has happened. If you build or move into apartments near a club, you should be banned from making noise complaints.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Have we all just forgotten the genuine vibrant community at E&C that was destroyed and socially cleansed, now being replaced with these synthetic "cultural" functions?

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  • you cant manufacture "cultural" places. They happen naturally and come from the people living there.

    Designing a new plazza or square and telling new residents who will move in tomorrow "this is where you do culture" whilst pointing at some sort of abstract art installation, is, to be quite frank, utter tripe

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  • The images are of shopping centre not the Skipton House development by SOM, the shopping centre is being master-planned by Allies and Morrison I believe.

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  • why "the" Elephant and Castle...? and not just Elephant and Castle...

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    Because "the Elephant and Castle" is cool. Only people from Up North call it "Elephant and Castle".

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  • "Only people from Up North and the remaining original (pre-gentrification) residents call it "Elephant and Castle"."

    There, fixed that for you.

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