The nightclub’s lawyers say they will hold council responsible if noise complaints imperil the business

South London nightclub Ministry of Sound has threatened to hit Southwark council with a multi-million pound lawsuit following a row over planning permission.  

Lawyers for the club have written to the council’s chief executive saying the venue will hold the local authority responsible for any financial loss it suffers if two tower blocks are built next door, according to a report in the Guardian.

The paper said the letter warns that any liability arising from Ministry’s closure would amount to “many tens of millions of pounds”, and that the council will be held responsible “for any and all financial loss [Ministry] suffers both to the nightclub and any resulting loss to its global brand and associated businesses.”

The council’s planning committee will decide today whether a 22-storey building proposed by Neobrand will be built a block away from the club. Oakmayne Properties has proposed a further 41-storey, 255 flat tower for a site opposite the venue, which will be considered next month.

Lohan Presencer, Ministry’s chief executive, believes that the arrival of residential developments would inevitably lead to noise complaints and nuisance claims being brought against the club. Lawyers say such claims could well prove indefensible and result in the loss of its licence.  

The row between club and council has already raged for several years, with Ministry claiming the local authority has underestimated decibel levels after failing to conduct its noise surveys at peak times.

The club also contends that former councillors and officers are advising Oakmayne, and that council representatives have refused an invitation to formally inspect the club site.

Fiona Colley, the councillor responsible for urban regeneration, told the Guardian: “We do understand the perspective from both sides, and appreciate that Ministry of Sound is a valued club, business and employer in the area, but we hope a balance can be struck which allows them to continue along the equally important regeneration programme for Newington Causeway.”