Planning application withdrawn, beloved nightclub Cellar is ‘saved’

The club heralds a "fantastic outcome" after the planning application to turn it into retail space was withdrawn

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A planning application to turn the Oxford nightclub Cellar into a retail space has been withdrawn, meaning the beloved venue could remain open in future.

According to the City Council’s website, the application to change the underground club into a retail space was withdrawn today after it received a high volume of objections.

On Facebook, the club’s owners heralded a “fantastic outcome”, and thanked “the incredible number of all you amazing supporters for taking the time to register your objection, and also for sharing your thoughts on this too.”

The Facebook post, since deleted, added that Cellar was in consultation with its solicitors “to see what the next moves are likely to be”.

The original planning application, put forward in August by the nightclub’s landlords, St Michael’s and All Saints, intended to refurbish the space into retail premises. It meant Cellar would have had to close its doors by early 2018.

The move provoked a petition against the planned closure which was signed by over 13,000 people.

In response to today’s news, Femi Williams, a Worcester College student who runs Gun Fingers nights at the venue, told Cherwell he was “delighted” by the news.

“Cellar provides a wonderful and necessary platform to celebrate music that isn’t immediately commercial – something that nowhere else in Oxford does in quite the same way.

“I’m delighted it’s here to stay – Gun Fingers can continue to thrive, and it’s great to see all the new nights which are popping up across all different genres offering genuinely good music. The Oxford scene is looking up again!”

St Hugh’s third-year Max Reynolds, who organises Dr Feelgood, said he was “absolutely over the moon at the news”.

He added: “Nightlife culture is often disregarded as superficial and unimportant, and so it is heartening that it has been recognised as having a tangible value.

“Well done to all those that supported the effort to protest its closure, I look forward to getting sweaty with you all in that hallowed basement.”

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The Cellar, previously called The Corn Dolly and The Dolly, has hosted early gigs for successful bands such as Foals and Glass Animals. The venue has been owned since the 1980’s by the Hopkins family.

Additional reporting by Emily Lawford.

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