The 82yr old Curzon cinema in Mayfair London is under threat of closure. Not because it is dilapidated, nor is it failing dismally. This iconic structure is under threat because developers who have acquired the rights to the floors above are demanding that the cinema “improve matters” with regards to soundproofing.
38 Curzon Ltd are intending turning the offices above the cinema into residential flats. Due to the age and listed status of the building the sound from the cinema can be heard in the floors above. 38 Curzon Ltd have demanded that the cinema pay up to £500,000 towards soundproofing. With the listed status of the building it is questionable whether this soundproofing would be given the go ahead even if the cinema had funds available.
It is strange that the original occupier of the building is being forced to change its perfectly legal ways to satisfy the new occupiers of the offices above. Surely when 38 Curzon Ltd acquired the long term leasehold for the offices which they now wish to turn into flats, they knew of the noise levels. Why then are they being allowed to push for the cinema to have to change when it is their proposed development that has changed the use of the upper floors?
This is becoming more and more common as developers continue to push for profits. New housing developments built beside farms which bring complaints about noise at harvest time and can actually end up causing farmers to lose valuable crops as they have to wait for acceptable hours to start their machinery.
Villages in rural area where suddenly complaints are put to police about tractors driving too fast through the town, cockerels crowing in the morning. City centre venues after years of hosting family events lose their late licence due to neighbour complaints from the “new” neighbouring development.
Properties beside sporting venues are not going to be tranquil when big events are on, if you buy in that area then you cannot expect the area to change for you.
Too often common sense and tradition are being trampled underfoot by developers and their sycophants. If you buy a property you buy it as is, you should not be able to change the neighbourhood of many for the self-centred aspirations of the few.
Previously published by Small Town Scot