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Air Studios wins two-year legal battle over next-door basement build

Tara Lepore 13 October 2017
AIR Studios, Lyndhurst Hall

Hampstead’s world-famous Air Studios is celebrating today after a planning application to build a basement swimming pool next door was withdrawn.

The high-profile petition to stop building works was signed by more than 13,000 people, as the team at Air Studios worried the noise and vibrations from the building work would force the studios to close down.

The two-year legal battle ended when studio neighbours Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys withdrew their application and appeal for an underground cinema, sauna, hot tub and swimming pool to be built into their £10m Georgian home in the north London borough.

Founded by Sir George Martin, and having welcomed recording artists from Paul McCartney to U2, Air Studios is  one of just two London studios that can accommodate a full symphony orchestra.

A statement released today on Air Studio’s Facebook page reads:

To let everyone know that our neighbours have decided to drop both appeals and both Planning Applications for their proposed basement development!

We are so relieved and so incredibly thankful to all of you who have supported us over the last couple years.

Every musician, artist, composer, client, music fan, engineer, producer, the local community, film and TV company, record label, other recording studios, local government, other government agencies, industry bodies and all our brilliant staff. Your efforts have played such a huge part in helping to get to this resolution. We cannot thank you enough!

Currently there is nothing to stop new applications of a similar nature but if they do we hope we can count on your future support if required!

We will of course update you all with more news as and when we get it.

Again – thank you, thank you, thank you! You have been amazing.

However, legal fees have cost the studios more than £200,000, as owner Paul Woolfe explained to the Telegraph: “This whole process has been a needless and abject waste of time and money. We feel the Jeffreys handled it terribly. I don’t think they understand the impact this has had on the thousands of people it has affected.

“This entire planning application has been a management distraction for us. Meanwhile, a lot of musicians and orchestras have also been waiting for this to be resolved.

“This is, after all, about a blooming swimming pool. If they were building a hospital or research centre it would be different.”

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