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Ministry Man Bashes Profiteer Property Developers




Ministry Of Sound chief James Palumbo warned this week that his South London clubbing conglomerate faces an existential threat, from property speculators scheming to build a gigantic tower block of luxury flats on the doorstep of the iconic Elephant & Castle club.


“The bottom line is if they build that block of flats, we are going to close,” James told the Standard, going on to launch a personalised attack on the financiers behind the plan.


“We pay tens of millions in PAYE, corporation tax, national insurance, VAT. That property is owned by a British Virgin Islands company which is owned by clients of a Swiss bank,” he continued. “I don’t see why my business should die to facilitate an offshore company making profits from luxury flats.(Standard)


His comments were echoed by Ministry CEO Lohan Presencer, in a similarly blunt assessment of the character traits of luxury flat company Oakmayne Properties.


“Short-term profits for a property developer – who frankly is funding all his exploits with money offshore – should not take precedence over the contribution that we make as a business and as an employer,” Lohan told DJ magazine.


“Oakmayne Properties are based in the Isle Of Man, the company that they used to buy the site is based in the British Virgin Islands, and the property developer himself lives in Monaco and flies in during the week.”


The details of the case are summarized on a petition page Ministry of launched alongside Twitter hashtag #savemosclub.


“In 2009 we became aware of plans to build a 41 storey residential tower block 10 metres from the front gate of Ministry of Sound. If this building goes ahead and the new residents complain about noise from our club, we could lose our licence and be forced to close,’ the petition explains.


“We fought the application tooth and nail for two years – and finally, in October 2011, Southwark’s planning committee saw sense and rejected it unanimously.


However, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has called in the application, and on 26th February 2013 he will decide our fate. We still have a massive fight on our hands to save Ministry of Sound, and need your help to show Boris why he should #savemosclub.” (James Palumbo on bankers on drugs: “The reason I’m so against drugs is as a result of my City days where I’d see brokers who weren’t able to come in and pitch unless they’d been into the loo (toilet) and taken a line of cocaine. I just think it’s so fucking weak and pathetic . . . The developer came down to see Lohan several years ago, and very arrogantly, as a few property developers are, said ‘well nightclubs come and go’. That’s not good enough. We’ve got to be allowed to have our say . . .’)





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