DJ Judge Jules reminisces over Clerkenwell’s Turnmills as it looks set to be demolished
Proposals to demolish the world famous Turnmills nightclub only a year after it was saved from a similar fate will be an “embarrassment” for the council if it gives the go-ahead, conservationists have said.
Legendary DJ Judge Jules has also spoken fondly of the venue ahead of an Islington Council meeting tonight (Thursday) where plans to destroy the iconic building on Clerkenwell Street, Clerkenwell, to make way for a �27million six storey block will be recommended for a approval.
The globetrotting DJ, real name Jules O’Riordan, was a regular guest at Turnmills – the first UK club to obtain a 24-hour licence – before it shut its doors in 2008.
He said: “It was a real shame when it closed two years ago, and now it is never coming back.
“You can never take the memories away – the chaos of the place was incredible. I also remember it having the tiniest DJ booth. I am from north London and have a lot of friends here, so there was always 35 people in a DJ booth that can only fit four.”
The building survived a previous demolition application in 2009, which was refused and the decision upheld on appeal last year, but now time looks to have run out for the well-loved venue despite opposition from conservationists and English Heritage.
Will Palin, secretary of Save Britain’s Heritage, said: “This will be a terrible shame and an embarrassment for the council if it goes through. They should be standing up for buildings like this. People would miss it if it were to go, and not to protect it sets a dangerous precedent.”
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The Turnmill building is in the Clerkenwell conservation area and is surrounded by listed properties.
English Heritage said it was “widely acknowledged to contribute to the significance of the conservation area”, and that it is “concerned about the impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of the nearby Grade II-listed former Middlesex Session House”.
In addition, local residents are worried the new building will be too large, ruin the character of the area and that small businesses currently occupying the building will be thrown out.