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Row Over Scarborough Studio Plans

Row Over Scarborough Studio Plans

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 1:03pm 29th June 2020. (Updated at 1:04pm 29th June 2020)

A row has broken out over plans to turn the ground floor of Scarborough house into a recording studio.

More than 40 letters of support and 30 letters of objection have been lodged with Scarborough Council, in response to the planning application by Christopher and Kristina Jones.

The pair want to use one floor of their three-storey home in South Avenue, Scalby, for the studio, which they say would operate between 8am and 11pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays.

In their application, it states that a number of soundproofing measures have already been installed at the Beck View studio, which has been operating since December.

The Jones’ application adds:

“The intention is to be able to operate the business as demand evolves.

[The property] is a family home and as such all bookings including recording sessions, studio visits and meetings will be made by appointment only. Where possible we will make every effort to book recording sessions during the working week when the children are at school and our neighbours are also at work.

However, many musicians and singer/songwriters do have other ‘day jobs’ and in light of this we hope you appreciate that there may be a need to record on weekends as necessary.

Generally speaking, the anticipated hours of operation would be between the hours of 8.30am – 6pm, although occasionally we may need to work later depending on client availability.”

They add that the space will be used as recording studio and not a practice area, meaning that instruments will be played individually, not as part of a group.

There will also be a focus on “jazz, country, folk, singer/songwriter, classical, quartet and piano” music, with “hard rock and punk” given a wide berth.

More than 40 letters of support have been lodged with the council, calling on the authority to grant the change of use.

One supporter wrote:

“[It is an] excellent project, that deserves support; the studio is invisible from the outside, and well soundproofed.

The owner is a very experienced sound engineer, and well able to run the studio efficiently and without disturbing neighbours or the environment; it can also be isolated from the house’s main living quarters.

From the point of view of local musicians (of which there are many) the studio will be a very welcome and much-needed facility.”

The scheme is not without its critics, however.

More than 30 people have asked the borough council to throw out the plans.

A number of them point out that the letters of support come from people who do not live near the property.

A planning consultancy firm, acting for two near-neighbours of the application site, has called on the authority to instantly refuse the application as it does not include a noise assessment as part of the scheme.

The letter adds that the soundproofing carried out is not sufficient, stating:

“I question the measures implemented, as I am informed that neighbours of the application site hear instruments and consider the noise levels they experience to be disturbing and repetitive.”

The objection goes on to say that a number of the measures proposed, such as how many instruments are played at one time and what type of music is recorded there are “uncontrollable”.

It concludes by asking the council to issue a “stop notice”, so that the studio cannot be used for commercial purposes until planning permission is granted.

Newby and Scalby Parish Council has also said that more information is needed about the potential of noise coming from the studio.

Its letter stated:

“Parish councillors were minded to say that providing there was good soundproofing they did not have any objections to the application.

However, the problems clearly already being experienced by the neighbours suggests it is absolutely crucial that some form of noise monitoring or report on the current sound levels is obtained before making planners make a decision on this application.”

The plans are out to consultation.


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