Proposals for basement development next to Air Studios to be heard by Planning Inspectorate

Director Paul Woolf outside Air Studios.

Director Paul Woolf outside Air Studios. - Credit: Archant

A dispute over plans to build a basement development next to the world-famous Air Studios, in Hampstead, is to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate.

Queen's Brian May has added his voice to objections to the scheme.

Queen's Brian May has added his voice to objections to the scheme. - Credit: Archant

Camden Council failed to decide whether Air Studios’ neighbours could build a basement underneath their Rosslyn Hill home within the statutory time limit, so the Planning Inspectorate will settle the dispute in September.

Plans were submitted in April 2015 by Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys to build a swimming pool and gym suite under their Georgian house.

Bosses at next door Air Studios fear the noise and vibrations from the excavations means they will be forced to close for six months.

But the Jeffreys, who have revised the plans several times, dispute this and say they will work with the studios to minimise disruption.

Stars from the worlds of music and film, including the head of the British Film Commission Adrian Wootton and Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer, late pop star George Michael submitted objections to the scheme.

A petition against the scheme has now collected 12,700 signatures.

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Air Studios, based in Grade II-listed former church Lyndhurst Hall, is one of only two recording studios in the UK to provide score recording services to the major film industry.

Studio director Paul Woolf said he will have spent £150,000 fighting the development by the time of the hearing.

He claims that if the development went ahead, “clients won’t come to us, because we can’t have a recording done.

He said: “We’re not being drama queens – we can’t have a recording studio working with a drill outside.”

But the Jeffreys said: “Our strong objective throughout this process has been to find a way to accommodate the work with the absolute minimum of disruption to any other party.

“With this in mind the current planning application has already been substantially revised in response to objections we have received. We remain very keen to work with Air Studios’s owners to find an amicable and practical solution to ensure the building work can be carried out whilst the studio stays open.”

To view the appeal, visit: search under reference APP/X5210/W/16/3156359.