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Groundbreaking Deal on Noise Complaints May Threaten Enforcement Action

January 8, 2014
Environmental Protection

A groundbreaking deal between London nightclub The Ministry of Sound and developers Englewood Ltd may have far-reaching consequences for Environmental Health Officers. The club in Elephant and Castle had protested about the construction of a 41-storey apartment block at nearby Newington Causeway on grounds that noise complaints could threaten its existence.

The development was initially refused by Southwark Council in 2011 on grounds of design, height, dwelling mix, room size and noise, despite planning officers recommending approval. London Mayor Boris Johnson overturned the judgement last month after agreement was reached with developers over noise reduction measures. Acoustic glazing, sealed windows and an internal ‘winter garden’ will now be installed when construction starts later this year. Residents will also be subject to a deed of easement that effectively prevents them from complaining about noise from the club. Ministry of Sound chief executive Lohan Presencer feels such deals could aid similar developments in the future, saying, “This means we are permitted to make the noise we’ve always made without fear of being complained about. It’s pretty groundbreaking and will hopefully set a precedent for similar situations.”

Further details of the unique agreement will emerge when Planning Officers from the Greater London Authority require evidence to discharge planning conditions. This will include the effect of the deed of easement on residents right to complain under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act.