No PMT for Cowley music shop

It was announced this week that Cowley Road music store Professional Music Technology (PMT) will be allowed to remain in business.

The shop was facing the axe after hotel chain Travelodge were given planning permission to open up a branch on the floor above.

In accordance with the company’s business model, Travelodge would only open in this location if it was allowed a restaurant on the ground floor, which would have meant the closure of PMT.

However, after a sustained online campaign and a unanimous vote by the City Council, the planning application has now been refused.

The shop boasts a distinguished history – since they opened, Radiohead, Foals and Supergrass have all bought instruments from the establishment.

Mr Fellerdale, the manager of PMT, commented before the verdict of the Council was announced: “With so many music venues in Cowley, we are bang in the middle of the Oxford music scene.

“This shop was opened 14 years ago. Since then it has become a great contributor to the cultural and musical character of Cowley Road[…]If we were forced to move off the Cowley road, it would be greatly upsetting not just for musicians, but for everyone in the area.”

He that staff had “been touched by the overwhelming support from locals saddened by the prospect of losing the shop.”

Gaz Coombes, the lead singer of Supergrass, said, “There is nothing else like it in Oxford and it’s vital for the continual nurturing of Oxford music.”

PMT only found out last Thursday that this application had been put through and so hadn’t had time to put together a petition. Instead, they set up a Facebook event inviting people to voice their concerns to members of the Oxford City Council.

The event gathered over 2,000 members, becoming a platform for an overwhelming number of people voicing their complaints.

On Facebook, Jim Woods commented: “Please, City Council, spare a thought for something beyond the fiscal bottom line for a change.”

Quoting Joni Mitchell, Camino del Flamenco wrote: “Does this council want to be the one that ‘paves paradise and put up a parking lot?’”

Nischala Jacobs said on the page: “[M]usic is what we need, a community facility – not another restaurant!”