A HISTORIC music studio could potentially be demolished and replaced with two houses.

Famous artists such as Jimmy Ruffin, ACDC and Black Sabbath have recorded at the Old Smithy Recording Studios, in Post Office Lane, Kempsey.

But Malvern Hills District Council has now signed off on plans to tear down the building and build two four-bedroom houses and garages on the site, despite opposition from local residents.

Muff Murfin, who set up the studio in his back garden in 1977, said the planning application was part of a retirement plan for him and his wife Ginny.

Mr Murfin said: “It does have a lot of history but all good things come to an end.

“It’s not going to close in the foreseeable future. I’m still writing music and recording.”

Mrs Murfin added: “This is something we have done as a plan for the future. We have three years to decide whether to go forward with it or not.

“We are not planning right at this moment - or in the near future - to close the studio and build two houses.”

She also dismissed a neighbour’s complaint that the development could lead to traffic in a lane next to the studio, which is currently used by Severn Trent Water.

Mrs Murfin added that she and her husband have right of way over part of the lane adjacent to their driveway.

The objection, submitted by Sian Hughes, of Main Road, Kempsey, also raised other concerns about the project.

The resident said: “The Old Smithy Studios play a significant role in musical history and whilst we understand that the owners see this as an opportunity to capitalise on their land it seems a sad loss for the area to knock the studios down.

“The building work would cause increased noise and disruption at the rear of our property and we are concerned the building vehicles would damage our property.

“We would also need to consider the security of the rear of our property as any person would easily be able to access our garden (this is currently stopped by the locked gate).”

Despite this objection, the project has received planning permission.

District councillor David Harrison, who represents the area, told the council he did not want to see the application come before the Northern Area Planning Committee.

He backed the planning officer's recommendation to grant planning permission, which meant the council's head of planning was able to approve the development through 'delegated powers'.

John Michael, the other district councillor for Kempsey, had previously declared an interest in the application.

Sharon Baxter, clerk for Kempsey Parish Council, also told planners that the council had 'great concerns' about parking provision.

She wrote: "Kempsey Parish Council has great concerns about adequate parking on both sites and the turning space is an excessive distance away from each garage."

She also stated that councillors questioned how Severn Trent Water would reach the pumping station next to the site and whether this access would bother the householders.

The land set to be developed also includes various outbuildings, which can now be demolished, and is bordered by Hatfield Brook and Kempsey Primary School.

Resident Lisa Stevens has also expressed concerns about whether the proposed homes would look onto school classrooms that could be built near the properties.

Plans to demolish the recording studio and build one home and a double garage previously received outline planning permission in 2003.

The studio is currently being used by various recording companies.