Owners of a London-based studio which has played host to some of the most iconic musicians of all time, from rock gods to classical virtuosos, are celebrating after managing to put paid to plans for a huge basement being constructed beneath a neighbouring building.

The Telegraph reports that a cavalcade of stars had provided their backing for the campaign to block the proposed work because of the massive amount of disruption that would allegedly be caused to the daily operations of the studio.

Legitimate concerns

When it comes to most types of construction, there is a need to take into account not just the requirements of the clients, but also the ways in which it will impact on others who live and work in the surrounding areas. In general, people will be willing to put up with noise and disruption during the day, but this same kind of tolerance is simply not possible when the business in question aims to provide world-class audio recording services. In this case, even the slightest disturbance could ruin a take and cost the studio and its clients vast sums.

The cumulative impact of the building of this basement over the several months that it would have taken to complete was seen as simply untenable from the perspective of the neighbouring Air Studios. But for some time it was unclear as to whether the campaign to prevent the work would even be successful.

Big name backing

Queen guitarist Brian May, Pirates of the Caribbean composer Hans Zimmer and leading lady Joanna Lumley were just a few of the famous faces to commit their signatures to an open letter which was sent last year to the owners of the home next to the studio in Hampstead.

The basement was set to include everything from a full swimming pool to a cinema and even a steam room, so it is easy to see why concerns were raised. This was no small job that a reputable basement company in London could carry out quickly and efficiently; it would have resulted in months of noisy labour.

The appeals process was set to trundle on well into 2018, with a lengthy public consultation on the cards. And at some points there was a lot of acrimony involved, with Air Studios representatives facing off against homeowners Andrew and Elizabeth Jeffreys. Thankfully it was eventually decided by the Jeffreys that the ongoing campaign to get the basement built was not worthwhile and as a result they have rescinded their original plans, much to the pleasure of the studio’s owners, as well as the celebrities and 13,000 other people who had signed a petition expressing their concerns.

The studio has had to fork out substantial sums to cover the costs of lawyers, as well as paying for a report into the acoustic impact that the work was expected to have on their premises. However, it is expected that a portion of this outlay will be recoverable from the council.