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Allies and Morrison's Elephant & Castle scheme approved

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Allies and Morrison’s contentious plans to build a 41-storey residential tower in Elephant and Castle have been approved by London Mayor Boris Johnson

The decision means developer Englewood can press on with plans to build the 335-home block on the site of Eileen House, a few metres from the legendry Ministry of Sound club in the heart of the south London hub.

Johnson’s decision is a blow to the super club which had opposed the scheme on the grounds that the tower’s new residents could complain about noise from the venue.

The scheme was originally turned down by Southwark in 2011 but now following a series of public hearings (AJ 20.11.13) the protracted scheme has got the green light after the mayor ruled that Englewood had ‘addressed the club’s concerns’ by including ‘…acoustic glazing, sealed windows and internal ‘wintergardens’.

The development which will include 65 shared ownership flats, sits within the Elephant and Castle Opportunity Area – one of 33 areas designated by the Mayor as being ripe for housing and other developments.

Johnson said: ‘This scheme will deliver much-needed housing in Elephant and Castle while ensuring that the Ministry of Sound, one of London’s leading cultural and musical icons, can continue to thrive for years to come.

‘The Ministry of Sound makes a huge contribution to the area’s thriving night time economy. We want the club to be at the heart of our plans to transform the area into a thriving town centre which is attractive to live, work and play, particularly for young people and students.

‘I have fully considered the concerns raised by the club, and having visited the site myself believe that, on balance, the amendments to the original plans should allow residents of the new development to coexist with visitors to the club.’

Previous story (20.11.13)

Boris delays decision on Allies and Morrison’s Elephant scheme

Boris Johnson has failed to make a decision on the fate of Allies and Morrison’s 41-storey tower Eileen House scheme in Elephant & Castle, south London

At a special hearing at his London HQ earlier this week, the mayor instead opted to postpone the final decision until the 19 December.

In a three-hour session Johnson heard from the developer Oakmayne, local residents and representitives of the nearby Ministry of Sound (MoS) club which has always objected to the new tower.

At the hearing the MoS chief executive Lohan Presencer said the club would back the scheme if residents signed a ‘deed of easement’ which would in effect forbid them from complaining about noise generated by the club.

The MoS also want to ensure the proposed building, which features winter gardens to act as a noise ‘buffer’, is built as set out in the planning conditions and that further alterations would meet these soundproofing standards.

The mayor, who at one stage, and much to the delight of the assembly, corrected planning lawyer Tim Taylor’s Latin, said he supported both sides of the argument and requested the month long hiatus to better understand the legal implicatinos of the proposed ‘deed of easement’.

Johnson summed up preceedings by describing the spat as a ‘neighbours’ dispute that has escalated’.

Previous story (AJ 06.12.11)

Mayor to judge on Allies and Morrison’s Elephant and Castle tower

London mayor Boris Johnson has stepped in to make a final decision over Allies and Morrison’s 43-storey mixed-use Elephant and Castle tower in south London

Johnson will now decide whether to approve the 137.5m-tall project which was turned down by local authority Southwark Council two months ago.

The scheme was refused against planning officers’ recommendations because of concern over its social housing provision, compliance with the London plan and viability.

Neighbouring nightclub Ministry of Sound had also been a long running objector to the scheme which it claimed could force it to curtail its commercial night club operations if future inhabitants complained over noise.

Graham Morrison of Allies and Morrison said he would be ‘pleased’ if the project was approved, adding: ‘I very much hope that is the outcome.’

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