Hi, I just wanted to thank everyone who has signed the petition so far, we now have over 4200 signatures and still going up. Some of you left comments, which I very much appreciate, its great to know how much affection Strongroom has out there. We need to keep the pressure on Hackney and it would be fantastic if those who left comments send them to Barry Coughlan the planning officer at Hackney firstname.lastname@example.org so that Hackney get to know what people think about the importance of Strongroom to the cultural side of London. Once again very many thanks to everyone for you support With Best Wishes Richard Boote
To: Hackney Council, Residents of Hackney, Sadiq Kahn - The Mayor of London, Dianne Abbott – MP for Hackney, Matt Hancock – Secretary of State for DCM&S, James Brokenshire – Secretary of State for GLC, Greg Clark – Secretary of State for BE&IS
You are invited to reject the application for a major development which would severely disrupt the workings of the Strongroom complex and could well lead to its closure.
1. Sign the petition;
2. Write letters of objection to Mr Barry Coughlan (who is the Case Officer) at email@example.com
Do use the petition as a template and quote the case number in your email. Do make some changes to the petition to make this your own objection else Hackney council will treat all objections which look the same as one objection.
The case number is:
Re address: Redevelopment at 118 Curtain Road, Shoreditch
Why is this important?
Founded by Richard Boote in 1984, Strongroom stands as one of Shoreditch’s longest running establishments, enriching a then-sparse area of London and aiding its evolution into the arts & technological center we know it as today.
Built as a single studio out of a disused zip factory, the Strongroom grew organically to become 12 world-class music studios, 6 edit suites, 8 offices and an award-winning Bar & Kitchen, serving the community as a shared gathering point with an open courtyard dense with foliage planted by Richard himself.
In recognition of his contributions to the regeneration of Shoreditch, Richard was awarded the Mayor of Hackney’s Businessman of The Year award in 2006, and Strongroom has been nominated for and awarded countless studio accolades in its 30+ years as a commercial facility to the likes of Spice Girls, The Prodigy, Nick Cave, Radiohead, Björk, Depeche Mode and many more.
On Strongroom, music producer Ben Baptie says:
“Strongroom Studios is where I work from all of my creative output. From the moment I first started working here I realised that this was a special place, and not just for me, but for recording artists too. The cultural relevance of Strongroom is one that cannot be ignored when looking at the musical output in the UK.
From the original Jamie Reid artwork to the huge outside area to the characteristics of each studio within the building. This is a place where art is made. It is a creative space. It is not something that can be planned or purposefully created, as, like all great art, it is inspired, refined and a one off.
Making records is not an easy or quick thing but Strongroom is a place where you feel comfortable doing that, and that is not to be ignored. It takes so much hard work from so many talented people over a long period of time to make that happen, and with each record made here it's importance only grows.”
The application to redevelop a small warehouse space into a six-storey office block estimates a continuous construction period of 18+ months. Dust and debris from any construction operation near a recording studio would be deleterious, but for something on this large a scale along the adjoining wall to the premises the noise and vibration alone could put the studios completely out of business. It would also disastrously impact the communal courtyard, and the final construction cast the amenity into complete shadow.
The planning application as submitted can be found here: https://bit.ly/2MFQkHB
This development may well lead to the closure of Strongroom Studios, and significantly affect trade for the Strongroom Bar and Kitchen, as well as potentially displacing the 18 other businesses based on site, therefore planning permission should not be granted for the following reasons:
1. As a recording studio, and therefore a noise-sensitive environment, any long period of construction in the vicinity would be detrimental but the proposed 18-months of work along the joining wall would ensure constant loud-level and low-frequency leakage into studios that would be picked up by acoustic instruments and microphones. This would render recording services unusable.
2. The constant loud-level and low-frequency leakage would make critical listening impossible, therefore rendering any mixing services also unsuable.
3. This would not only result in loss of earnings for Strongroom studios but would affect, and almost certainly displace, the many other music companies based onsite in studios and offices.
4. The risk to extremely rare and fragile equipment, such as vintage microphones and recording consoles, is a serious concern. As recording equipment, particularly those in studios sharing a party wall, will be incredibly vulnerable to the structural vibration through the ground and walls of the building.
5. Any continued construction work to a building along the party wall would create huge amounts of sustained noise, constant low frequency vibration, dust and debris into the courtyard and other open areas. Both unattractive and unsafe for dining customers of the Strongroom Bar & Kitchen in the courtyard amenity, this threatens a fundamental attraction of its business.
6. The 6 storey building would throw the sunny, leafy, vibrant courtyard amenity almost completely into shade, leaving a major attraction of the complex to onsite offices, studio residents and Strongroom Bar & Kitchen customers by the wayside.
7. Rising rents and redevelopments of this kind are pushing creative industries out of Shoreditch. Strongroom has fought hard to push back against this trend of gentrification and strive to keep our studio and amenity spaces inviting and affordable for creative companies.
8. It is imperative and part of the stated policy of Hackney that creative industries are an important asset to the development and continuation of cultural growth in the area. Developments such as this will kill culture.
6. As yet there has been no consultation with the applicants on any issues facing Strongroom and no compliance with the Party Wall Act.
They are already over 250 letters of objection with Hackney and letters of support will follow from industry organisations as well as further objectors. The purpose of this petition is to widen out the issues and let people have their say.
There is a point of philosophy here to be explored which is, to what extent should a development be allowed if it will seriously and deleteriously impact the livelihood and success of a business such as a recording studio which brings not only revenues and employment but also kudos to an area.
We feel that the planning application and the process being followed is unjust and we would invite you to record your agreement by signing the petition.
Please keep signing and sharing the petition! We will keep you informed of progress throughout.
The Strongroom Team