London’s legendary Maida Vale studios are to be protected from redevelopment after they were threatened with closure.
Earlier this week (May 5), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport approved an application to give the building Grade II Listed status, protecting it from the looming threat of being turned into flats.
The new ruling means any potential developer will need special planning permission in order to alter anything about the Edwardian building
Speaking of the news (via MyLondon), Local Labour councillor Geoff Barraclough said: “I’m delighted that Historic England has ignored objections from the BBC and agreed to recognise the role the studios have played in our cultural history.
“It’s now up the BBC to come back with proposals for the building that respect its new status as grade II listed.”
The BBC announced its plan to move away from Maida Vale as its live music hub in 2018, hoping to complete the move to a building in the Stratford Waterfront development in the Olympic Park in East London by 2022.
“I understand how much our musical heritage at Maida Vale means to us, to artists and to audiences,” the BBC director general, Tony Hall, said in a note to staff at the time of the announcement.
“We haven’t taken this decision lightly. But we’re determined to ensure that live music remains at the heart of the BBC and moving to this new development gives us the opportunity to do just that.”
The news led a host of musicians to launch a petition to save the studios, with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich calling it an “incredibly important part of our cultural heritage”.
Maida Vale Studios was originally built in 1909 and was home of the Maida Vale Roller Skating Palace and Club.
By the 1930s it was home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, also acting as a standby centre for BBC radio news during World War Two.