400-person rave in Greenwich to go ahead despite cops’ attempt to shut it down

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A rave for more than 400 people has been allowed to go ahead, despite police worrying “gangs” in the area could assault punters.

Greenwich council has approved plans to hold the 430-person event in an underground bunker in Charlton.

The event, called Rave in the Park, is scheduled to start at 10pm on April 29 and finish at 5.30am the next day. The application was sent by Andy Mills, who has held five events previously at the car park beside the venue.

The entrance to Bunker 51 in Charlton, where the Rave in the Park event is planned to be held (Picture: Google Street View)

Residents submitted more than 30 complaints for the previous events, including from Newham residents living across the river. This led to a warning letter being given to the applicant

At a licensing meeting for Greenwich council on March 8 Mr Mills claimed that the complaints from Newham residents were confirmed to be in relation to another venue.

He also said that an officer for Greenwich council believed complaints from residents during another event were incorrectly directed at Rave in the Park.

The applicant said: “There’s been a lot of complaints and stuff like that, but none of them have ever been proven to be myself.

“I’ve got a big background of noise, sound and production. I build music festivals and stuff like that and I put everything in place the best I can for these events so they run smoothly so we have no problems.”

PC Sam Bobb spoke against the plans at the meeting, saying alcohol and drug-related issues could arise from such late events due to strained police resources.

PC Bobb said: “Woolwich Riverside has previously had the highest recorded crime within the borough of Greenwich and there are concerns that the attendees could, in the lack of their geographical knowledge, find themselves falling foul of gangs or crime in the area, exposing themselves to assaults or muggings.”

Licensing agent Darryl Crossman said PC Bobb had not given any figures to prove the high crime rate in the area.

Mr Crossman said: “Mr Mills has held several events there successfully so we must give him credit for those.

“With light of the residents’ complaints that were going ahead, he decided to hold the [upcoming] event at Bunker 51, which is obviously incurring extra costs, but the idea behind that is the sound will be restricted and that noise will be completely limited to attract zero complaints from residents.”

Mr Mills’ said in his application that there will also be signs at the event to remind patrons to be considerate of neighbours, with stewards and security directing people out of the event once it has finished.

Greenwich council announced yesterday that the licensing sub-committee had granted permission for Mr Mills to hold the Rave in the Park event on April 29.

Pictured top: The interior of Bunker 51 in Charlton, where the Rave in the Park event is planned to be held (Picture: Greenwich council)

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