Snug Recording Company needs your help: studio under threat from new development

Snug Recording Company, the studio based in Agard Street, is under threat as an application has been made for the building of an eight storey residential block on neighbouring ground.

The proposed development, which will incorporate 77 flats and associated car parking, is being consulted on by Derby City Council with the application open to comments until the end of the month. In a statement on their Facebook page today Snug Recording Company, run by Robin Newman and Richard Collins, said the development posed a serious risk to the business as the noise from construction work would halt any recording at the studio.

The business has asked for the support of the local community, clients and music fans in responding to the planning application. The statement read in full: “Snug needs your help.

“This year, although we didn’t make as big a deal about it as we should, was our tenth birthday. Ten years ago we took over The Hive studio and began our own little chapter of the building’s 20+ years of recording music. The neighbourhood has been kind to us, and we’ve been able to continue making great audio with all of our wonderful clients and creatives.

“Unfortunately, this is now under threat due to a planning application to build an 8 story block of flats less than 10m from our front door. The noise generated by this construction work will vibrate through our entire building. No amount of realistic soundproofing measures could block this kind of intrusion and it will go on for months, preventing us from recording. Simply moving the studio will also be costly. We’re not like any other business that can just move to a new office. We have to ensure that we have clean electrics, soundproofing, ventilation, etc. We just don’t have that kind of money in the bank to throw at moving to new premises due to being forced out.

“The planning application includes a noise assessment report, but there is no mention of our business within it (despite it being clearly labelled as a recording studio on the Google Maps image used to illustrate the positions they have taken sound measurements). The report seems only concerned with assessing the levels of traffic and noise from the pub over the road and the effect this will have on the future residents of the development.

“For this reason, we have raised an objection and we’d like to ask that if you’re an ongoing customer of ours – or if you just value what we do and that it helps our community be a creative place – that you might consider raising one too. You can read the application and make a comment via the Derby City Council e-planning website. Time is tight but if we can get enough objections then we might at least have a chance of getting our situation recognised. Please keep your comments constructive and polite, and if you can share this amongst your networks then that’ll help us get the word out quickly. Thank you!

“Finally, I’d just like to stress that we’re not trying to rally a big witch-hunt here. We don’t particularly want to stand in the way of progress or anything, we realise we’re a small business and that this development would create a lot of employment and so on, but this is our livelihoods and we contribute to the livelihoods of many of our clients. Our next step will be to see if we can reach out to the developers and try to find a solution but in the short term, we need to make our concerns known so that the application doesn’t pass through without proper consideration of the wider impact.

“Thanks as always for all your support as clients, friends and people that enjoy the noises we all make.”

The plight of the recording studio is a now sadly familiar one as independent venues and other key parts of the music scene come under ever-more regular threat from developments in cities up and down the country. Increasingly music heritage and current businesses are finding themselves pushed out of the spaces its long occupied and contributed economically and culturally to in favour of residential buildings and – to borrow a phrase from urban planning visionary Jane Jacobs – the destruction of traditional urbanity and displacement of culture.

You can find the planning application on the Derby City Council website, and you have until 29 December 2017 to lodge your objection, support or make a general comment on the application. To do this you must log in to the planning portal and have your comment accepted by Derby City Council.

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