Bounce submits Shoreditch ping-pong plans

Ping pong tables at Bounce in Holborn, Jim Marks Photography.

Ping pong tables at Bounce in Holborn, Jim Marks Photography. - Credit: Archant

Social ping-pong club Bounce is consulting over plans to set up in a derelict Shoreditch carpark, which was bordered up seven years ago because of prostitution and drug dealing.

Bounce, the brainchild of Adam Breeden, the man behind All Star Lanes bowling venues, has its sights set on the basement under Shoreditch House and Vince Court in Old Street, owned by Hackney Council.

The club, which currently has a base in Holborn, will have a restaurant and be looking to apply for an alcohol licence.

Six business proposals were submitted in a tendering process last year from which Bounce emerged as the successful applicant.

They have promised to make the venue available free of charge two mornings a week for schools, community groups and older people to play table tennis should it get the go-ahead.

The council would have to fix plumbing and structural issues before Bounce began fitting out the venue with 17 to 20 table tennis tables.

Residents from the Charles Square Estate who live in the tower block above the site are being consulted on the proposal, which has been submitted to the council’s planning department.

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Tenant Paul McDonald said he believed the ping-pong was just a ruse to get around planning and licensing restrictions in the area which sits on the edge of the Shoreditch Special Policy Area (SPA).

He said: “The financial raison d’être of this venue is very clearly the 40ft cocktail bar and 95-seater restaurant. It is clearly a bar and restaurant with the novelty factor of a few ping-pong tables.

“In an area that is already saturated with bars and restaurants, the vast majority of which if not all, have late licences, further noise and anti-social behaviour would inevitably result from such a large venue – a venue that is quite literally under our feet.

“The roof down there is so bad stalactites are hanging off it and the plumbing is largely untouched since 1961.

“It’s grim down there and it’s nice of Hackney to volunteer to spend a fortune on the place in preparation for Bounce.”

Mr Breeden said he was keen to talk to residents about their plans.

“In order to provide comfort to residents, we are proposing strict conditions on our licence and planning to restrict the use only to a table tennis facility, ensuring we have a minimum number of people present in the venue at any time,” he said.

“Four residents attended our drop-in session and after discussing our plans, all wrote positive comments and left happy that Bounce would be a good addition to the area.” A council spokesman said it was unable to comment because the application was in the planning system.

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