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Council U-turn over petition to protect AIR studios

PUBLISHED: 16:43 10 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:43 10 February 2016

A basement excavation could put the famous recording venue AIR studios out of action

A basement excavation could put the famous recording venue AIR studios out of action

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Camden planners have made a U-turn by ruling that an 11,700-strong petition against a basement development next to AIR studios will not be ignored.

A petition backed by George Michael may not be validA petition backed by George Michael may not be valid

As reported exclusively by the Ham&High, AIR’s owners were told the petition and scores of other written objections supported by celebrities including singer George Michael and actress Joanna Lumley could be completely meaningless due to a planning loophole.

The objections were to plans submitted last April by Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys, to build a swimming pool, gym, sauna and cinema under their Georgian house in Rosslyn Hill next to the world famous studios,

Studio bosses fear the noise and vibrations from the excavations means they will be forced to close for up to six months which could threaten AIR’s future.

In December, the Jeffreys submitted a new, virtually identical application. They said this was common procedure and they did it to address feedback received so far.

But when AIR’s owner Paul Woolf approached Camden Council to check the status of the petition and letters he was told they would no longer apply.

Mr Woolf launched a campaign last week urging original protesters to resubmit their objections and agree to an amended petition.

This week a Camden spokesman issued an apology, staying that the original objections would, in fact, be carried over.

She said: “We should apologise for any impression to the contrary that may have been given to date. Since this application immediately follows the last application and is essentially identical, we can confirm that we will take all representations received on the first scheme into account and no one needs resubmit their objection if they have nothing to add.”

While welcoming the change of heart, Mr Woolf said: “We are dismayed and outraged by the timing which, amazingly, we had to hear from the Ham&High. We have since incurred more legal costs and had to activate another petition.”

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