Stars’ studio safe as iceberg basement plan withdrawn
A RECORDING studio where leading symphony orchestras, Sir Paul Mccartney, U2 and Liam Gallagher have performed has won a legal battle to stop a neighbour digging a vast “iceberg” basement.
Air Studios in north London feared that it would be forced to close because the noise and vibrations from months of construction work would shatter the silence essential for recording.
Brian May, Joanna Lumley, composer Hans Zimmer, Tim Burton, the film director, and the late George Michael were among signatories of a letter to The Daily Telegraph last year warning that the future of “a jewel in Europe’s music industry” would be at stake if the basement went ahead.
They highlighted concerns that valuable contracts for Hollywood film recordings could be taken abroad, threatening the livelihoods of British musicians.
Air Studios is one of just two London studios that can accommodate a full symphony orchestra, which is often required by film-score composers.
Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys, who live in a £10 million Georgian home next to the studio, yesterday withdrew their planning applications and an appeal for a subterranean swimming pool, sauna, hot tub and mini-cinema.
It followed a bitter and protracted planning process that was due to reach a climax with a four-day public planning inspectorate inquiry next year.
More than 13,000 people had signed an online petition and 800 people wrote to the council to oppose the application, over fears for the future of the studio founded by Sir George Martin, the record producer often referred to as “the fifth Beatle”.
Paul Woolf, the owner and chief executive of Air Studios, said the couple’s decision to back down was a victory for the British music industry, the studio itself and thousands of musicians, celebrities and members of the public who had backed their campaign.
“It’s been absolutely magnificent that people from the film and music industry, government departments, our staff and local people have supported us so relentlessly.
“Their backing is a testament to what Air Studios stands for. We are very grateful for that.”