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Greenwich councilors give Thames Barrier ravers permission to hold new event: The Charlton Champion

Parking Lot Rave Flyer

By Joe Coughlan, local democracy reporter

A panel of Greenwich councilors has given permission for another rave next to the Thames Barrier, despite complaints about noise from past events and fears by police that it could draw gang violence.

The event, called Rave in the Park, will begin at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and end at 5:30 p.m. the following day. Unlike five previous parties held on site, this one will take place indoors.

Locals lodged more than 30 complaints about earlier events, including from residents in flats across the Thames, prompting neighboring Newham Council to send a warning to the developer, Andy Mills.

Last month, Mills, also known as Andreas Millios, applied to Greenwich for a permanent license for parking at the Bunker 51 paintball venue on Herringham Road, next to the barrier. But then he backed out and planning issues mean no more events can take place in the parking lot.

This event would take place within Bunker 51 itself, which is largely underground.

bunker 51
The event will take place inside Bunker 51

At a Greenwich licensing meeting last week, Mills said the Newham residents’ complaints were confirmed to be related to another location. She also said that a Greenwich officer believed complaints from locals south of the river during another event they were incorrectly directed to Rave in the Park.

Mills said: “There have been a lot of complaints and the like, but none of them have ever been proven to be myself. I have a great experience in noise, sound and production. I build music festivals and things like that and I put everything in place the best I can for these events so they run smoothly and we don’t have problems.”

But police licensing officer Sam Bobb has spoken out against the plans, saying alcohol and drug-related issues could arise from such late events due to a shortage of police resources.

The site is within the former Woolwich Riverside borough, which Bobb said had “previously had the highest recorded crime within the Greenwich borough. There is concern that attendees may, due to a lack of geographic knowledge, encounter gangs or crime in the area, exposing themselves to muggings or robberies.”

Darryl Crossman, a representative for Mills, said Bobb had not provided any numbers to prove the high crime rate in the area.

Crossman said: “Mr. Mills has run a number of events there successfully, for which we must give him credit for them… In light of complaints from residents that were taking place, he decided to hold the event ( inside) of Bunker 51, which is obviously incurring additional costs, but the idea behind that is that the sound will be restricted and that the noise will be completely limited to attract zero complaints from the residents.”

Mills said there would be signage at the event to remind patrons to be considerate of neighbors, with butlers and security directing people out of the event once it’s over.

The council announced yesterday that the licensing subcommittee, councilors Matt Morrow, Cathy Dowse and Sam Littlewood, had granted permission for the event.

In 2018, developer Komoto applied to build up to 500 houses on the site, which was home to the Johnsen & Jorgensen glassworks until the early 1980s. Revised proposals were submitted in 2021, but little has happened since then with the scheme, called Flint Glass Wharf.

Additional reporting by Darryl Chamberlain

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Joe Coughlan is Greenwich’s local democracy reporter. The Local Democracy Reporters Scheme is a BBC funded initiative to ensure that councils receive adequate coverage in the local media.
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