Warner Music is threatening to move its “iconic” UK headquarters from Kensington in a planning row with a global investment company.
Warner Music threatens to quit London HQ amid row over noise from neighbour's redevelopment
The music giant, based in Wrights Lane, says proposals to redevelop a “bunker-like monolithic building” next door could adversely affect its artists and prevent them from playing and recording because of noise disturbance. It is fighting plans from Columbia Threadneedle Investments to expand the retail and officebuilding near High Street Kensington Tube - writes standard.co.uk.
Warner Music’s HQ has two recording studios for its artists and a reception space which has hosted performances by Kylie Minogue, Bastille, Emeli Sandé and Ed Sheeran. The company, which owns record labels representing artists such as Coldplay and Lily Allen, fears the noise from building work could prevent artists from using the studios — and affect working conditions for more than 600 employees in its offices.
A spokesman for the company told the Standard: “We’re objecting to this planning application as it will significantly impact our business.
“The current proposed development will reduce the light coming into our building which, with its glass facade, was specifically designed to benefit from it. This would alter the ways in which we could use the building, which is an iconic location in the music industry, including the hosting of showcase performances from artists. “We’ve been a significant employer in the borough since the Eighties, but we would be forced to consider our position if this application is approved.”
In a formal objection to the proposals, its planning consultants Planning Potential stated: “There is also potential for the proposed development to harm the business activities of WM through inappropriate levels of noise and vibration during the demolition and construction phases.”
Acoustic consultants Sharps Gayler added: “Noise, during the construction phase, could well have a very significant effect on the office space used by Warner Music, and the recording studios.
“This may also have a longer-term effect on clients and artists who may find alternative facilities during the construction phase and never return to the Warner Music Facilities as a result.”
The building proposed for redevelopment has a huge double basement and houses a Boots. This is expected to remain, in a larger store space. Under the plans, an extra storey would be added to the building to create five storeys in total.
A Columbia Threadneedle spokeswoman said: “Our development team has met with representatives of Warner Music to discuss the proposals and we are committed to working together.”
The plans will be discussed at a Kensington and Chelsea council planning meeting tomorrow.
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