U2 in fight to save 'Irish Abbey Road'

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The Independent Culture

The Irish rock band U2 began the first stage of their campaign yesterday to save their Dublin recording studios from being demolished.

Regarded by music fans as equalling the significance of the Beatles' Abbey Road or the Sun Studios used by Elvis Presley, U2 have recorded at the Hanover Quay site since 1994. Lawyers for the musicians told a planning hearing that the musical heritage alone should be enough to save the studio from demolition. More than 2,000 fans have signed an internet petition, in several languages, to save the studio.

But the Dublin Docklands Development Authority said the single-storey studios had to be pulled down to allow access to Grand Canal Dock, where a leisure, heritage and commercial area was planned.

The band members submitted a formal nine-page objection to the plans, citing the multimillion-pound record sales and musical heritage that have resulted from their use of the Hanover Street premises. The band have recorded in the docklands area since the early 1980s.

The authority and the band have already held meetings but no agreement has been struck. The authority used yesterday's meeting to set out its plans for regeneration of the area, explaining why it sought a compulsory purchase order for a number of buildings, including the studios. Four parties have raised formal objections.