Hilton and Beckham haunt has residents up in arms
PUBLISHED: 15:42 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:43 07 September 2010
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ONE of the world's top photographic studios – where Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham are regulars – has proved too much for a community of social housing tenants objecting to rowdy VIP parties. Camden Council s licensing panel decided to grant Spring Stu
ONE of the world's top photographic studios - where Paris Hilton and Victoria Beckham are regulars - has proved too much for a community of social housing tenants objecting to rowdy VIP parties.
Camden Council's licensing panel decided to grant Spring Studios its application to sell booze until 1am - despite complaints by residents that paparazzi camped outside cause disruption and that their children stay up past their bedtime to spot celebrities coming out of parties.
Residents claim revellers spilling out into the narrow Spring Place in Gospel Oak disturb residents by urinating and talking loudly on their mobile phones.
"I'm furious," said Bobby Armstrong, 70. "They need to sleep here to find out what goes on. These people think that because they deal with celebrities they can get away with it.
"The other day, a girl who lives in a flat here was asked to move out of the way by photographers. 'I live here,' she said, to which the photographer responded, 'These people are celebrities'."
The barrister representing Spring Studios claimed his clients had spent hundreds of thousands of pounds minimising the inconvenience to residents, with extensive sound testing and additional efforts to ensure taxis did not wait in the narrow Spring Place but over in Grafton Road.
They also said they had employed security guards to patrol during functions.
At the licensing hearing meeting on December 11, Spring Place resident Mr McKersie said: "During the functions our street was like Leicester Square. That's no good when our kids are trying to sleep.
"We can see right into the bar. It's very stressful living next to them."
James Rankin, the barrister representing Spring Studios, said: "Spring Studios was running before the resident blocks were built. It's a 24-hour operation. This place isn't turning into a nightclub."
Provoking gasps of disbelief among residents, he added: "Taxis aren't allowed to wait in Spring Place for functions."
The residents said taxis and lorries parked in the alley were taking their parking spots, which they paid for.
Mr McKersie added after the decision: "We're not very happy at all. With the endless traffic and amount of people who are turning up for their functions, we can't cope. Would this studio be allowed to operate in Hampstead or another such residential area? We had people coming out and urinating in Spring Place.
"Don't get me wrong, they are doing a great job. I haven't eaten at their restaurant but I've had a cup of coffee there. It's just when they have their parties. This is not the West End.
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