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Camden New Journal - by RICHARD OSLEY
Published: 21 June 2007
Dave Stewart - the Eurythmics guitarist and record producer founded the Hospital along with Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen
Dave Stewart - the Eurythmics guitarist and record producer founded the Hospital along with Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen
Accusations fly as residents get sick of the Hospital

Legal action threat for exclusive member’s club

WHEN guitarist and record producer Dave Stewart teamed up with Microsoft billionaire
G Paul Allen to open a unique members club in Holborn, they must have hoped the mix of swish Martini bars, a private cinema and music studios would prove popular.

But neither could have been looking for the growing notoriety that The Hospital in Endell Street has gained among its neighbours.
Planning chiefs warned the club’s management on Thursday that they have received a raft of complaints from residents about early morning noise and disturbance caused by delivery vans and refuse trucks.
Councillors threatened legal action, claiming that agreements made when the club opened in 2004 had not been kept and warning that they would go to court unless noise and traffic problems are rectified.
The Hospital is based in the converted seven-storey St Paul’s Hospital block and is usually described as “the vision” of Mr Stewart – best known for his work with The Eurythmics – and Mr Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
Events at the club have included chocolate and champagne tasting. Membership packages are suited to “those who practise, support and celebrate creative work in the UK and abroad”, according to marketing literature.
On the slightly more mundane but everyday issue of noise, The Hospital’s directors said they did not believe that it was causing a nuisance in the area.
The Town Hall, however, said it has heard enough to demand immediate action from the club.
Planners were told by the Covent Garden Community Association: “Of any development in the area this one produces more complaints from our members than all the others put together.”
In a statement to the council’s planning department, the CGCA said: “Our records show that the 8am earliest collection (agreement) is regularly ignored, which leads to continual disturbance to local residents.”
Protests have also been filed by the nearby Dudley Court Tenants’ Association and the Betterton House Residents’ Association.
The issue was discussed by planning councillors on Thursday.
Planning officer Rob Brew said: “Service deliveries shouldn’t be accepted from the street. The vehicles are causing a problem for local residents in terms of noise and general disturbance and wider problems of obstructing traffic.”
He added: “Before we can go to court, we need to seek equitable remedy with The Hospital Group. We are advising to progress with this work to force The Hospital Group to negotiate properly with us.”
Labour ward councillor Sue Vincent said: “I’m really pleased this has come to committee. It is an example of when conditions are placed on planning applications and how important they are. They are put there for a purpose. The Hospital Group has been incredibly remiss in not complying with this and it has caused enormous concern around the area.”
Nobody from The Hospital Group spoke at the meeting in defence of the venue but, in papers submitted to the Town Hall, the club said it had respected its neighbours.
Russ Saunders, from The Hospital Group, said: “It is our belief that our arrangements do not result in a nuisance to local residents for the following reasons. No collections occur before 8am. No weekend collections at all. Collection vehicles park in such a way that traffic can pass by while operatives gather bins. Glass is not tipped. We work on a bin exchange programme so the noise of glass is not an issue.”

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