Performing arts studios owned by Portsmouth Same Difference star set to get a revamp if application to build 5 flats above is approved

PLANS to build five residential flats above a Buckland performing arts school aim to help secure its future and revamp the studios.

Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 3:54 pm
Buckland-based SD Studios has applied to build 5 flats above the performing arts school, as well as revamping the building. Pictured: A CGI mockup of how the building would look by The Steven Barlow Partnership

The owners of SD Studios in Sultan Road have submitted plans to build two one-bedroom flats and three two-bedroom flats above the popular school for budding performers.

Sarah Wilson, who came third on The X Factor in 2007 as one half of Same Difference with her brother Sean Smith, opened the studio in 2017 and teaches a variety of classes in singing, ballet, musical theatre and more.

If the plans drawn up by Sarah and her husband Jamie are granted planning permission, it would offer five affordable flats as well as improving the dance school’s facilities to make it look more modern and sleek.

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Buckland-based SD Studios has applied to build 5 flats above the performing arts school, as well as revamping the building. Pictured: The current SD Studios building

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Sarah, 31, said: ‘At the moment it looks like an old building, it’s lovely that we have a studio but it doesn’t look the best - this will totally revamp it.

‘We want to bring it up to date and make it look more modern. It’ll be good and I’m excited about what it will do for the studio.’

The big project would look to include a new roof to replace the current one which sometimes leaks, double glazed windows, a revamped entrance for the studios and hopefully new toilets for the performers as well.

Buckland-based SD Studios has applied to build 5 flats above the performing arts school, as well as revamping the building. Pictured: A CGI mockup of how the building would look by The Steven Barlow Partnership

This development idea came about to protect the business from a future recession, to make sure teachers would be able to keep their jobs, which has only become more important following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarah, who recently released a charity single with Same Difference which featured children from the school, added: ‘It’s to secure the future of the studios and make them a bit better to hopefully get more people along in the future.’

If the plans are approved, the building work would not affect the classes held at SD Studios, which would be able to go ahead as normal throughout the development.

There have currently been no objections to the proposals and a city council assessment concluded the plans would not affect the roads surrounding the area so no highway objection has been raised.

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