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Crouch End recording studio boss celebrates victory over developer’s basement dig bid

PUBLISHED: 12:25 17 January 2018

Kenny and Jones and protesters outside Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: JON KING

Kenny and Jones and protesters outside Haringey Civic Centre. Picture: JON KING

Archant

A recording studio owner is celebrating after winning a fight to stop homes being built on a disused garden.

Kenny Jones, owner of Alchemy studio, feared that noise from building works for three single storey homes and three-metre-deep basement digs on land near his Station Road base, could drive him out of business.

Mr Jones – who has worked with musicians including The Smiths, Bjork, Bananarama, Billy Bragg and Oasis – told a public meeting of Haringey’s planning sub-committee on Monday night: “Building work will force the closure of a successful business.”

He explained noise from basement digging on land accessed via a track running alongside his studio, meant it would be “completely impossible” for him to work and cited the successful battle to ward off a basement dig next to Air studios in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead.

Council planning officers argued that the impact on the studio would be insignificant in spite of two previous applications being rejected at appeal in 2016.

They said neither the council’s conservation officer nor building control team had objected to the plans but Cllrs Charles Wright and Peter Mitchell, Haringey’s new environment chief, joined critics of the application arguing the development would threaten the site’s leafy character.

Planning adviser Matt Humphreys, speaking for the applicant, said the developer spent two years on the bid making changes in response to council advice, adding that Mr Jones’s fears were not a matter for planning.

On London Fire Brigade (LFB) condemning the bid over lack of fire engine access, Cllr Jennifer Mann said: “I’m aware of things that have happened in our city which have caused us all to stop and think.”

Of the six councillors on the committee three voted to reject the bid sparking cheers from a packed public gallery which included musician Dudley Phillips, guitarist ‘Snowy’ White and journalist Kevin Le Gendre.

The scheme was refused due to fears of over-development in a conservation area and access.

Speaking afterwards Mr Jones, who jumped for joy outside the Civic Centre chamber, said: “I’m just so happy the studio can continue to make music.

“There will be an appeal but we will fight that battle when it comes.”

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