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Air Studios up for sale as owner wants to ‘pass on the baton’

PUBLISHED: 11:47 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:47 10 May 2018

Paul Woolf outside AIR Studios NW3

Paul Woolf outside AIR Studios NW3

Archant

There were tears last week when it was announced Hampstead’s famous Air Studios is up for sale, less than a year after they won a planning basement battle with their neighbours.

The owner, Paul Woolf has also said he will ensure the grade-II listed building will remain a recording studio, and will not be turned into flats.

“There’s very narrow restrictions on what can be done with it. There’s no way we’d sell it with it for flats. We’re selling a business as a going concern,” he said.

The studios, at Lyndhurst Hall, has been the venue of choice for award-winning film score composers, such as Hans Zimmer and Dario Marianelli.

It was originally founded by Beatles’ producer, George Martin.

Mr Woolf believes that aged 68, it’s the right time to sell up.

“Having gone through the planning battle over the last two years, I’m 68 and my partner is 65. If we put a new business plan into place now, it would take us into our early 70s.

“It’s an emotional thing. It’s come to the point of passing on the baton to someone else who can take it to the next level.”

“There was a few tears. People thought it’s the end of an era.”

The battle between Mr Woolf’s studios, on Rosslyn Hill, and neighbours Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys raged for two years.

The couple planned to excavate a basement in their home, but there was concern the noise and vibrations would effectively force the studio to shut.

The Jeffreys withdrew their planning application in October, after it had been referred to the planning inspectorate.

The planning body has recently awarded the studios 55 per cent of their costs, which amounts to around £100,000.

“It was stressful,” said Mr Woolf. “It wasn’t possible to think about anything else when we were in that battle.”

However he also thanked people for their support when the battle was raging.

“One of the things that has touched me was the outpouring of love and support during the planning process from everyone.

“So many people supported us and encouraged us, and that was amazing.”

There is no current listing price, and Mr Woolf is waiting for potential bidders to make offers. However the building’s assets, including the state-of-the-art recording studio are worth millions.

Since the business went on the market on Monday, there has already been interest, according to Mr Woolf.

He is hoping to have the business sold by the autumn.

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