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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Baronessa Hanham of this parish says no to basement control

The Dame picked up this comment on basement issues in her preferred mag, The New Civil Engineer.
Many a happy hour has been passed by the Dame reading this informative little organ.
Joan and friends 'lording it up'
What a surprise to find in the latest issue old friend, Baronessa Hanham, pontificating on the perennial issue of basement excavation. According to Joan(yes, we are on very matey terms) there is no need of national legislation and these matters can be dealt with at a local council level.
One of the reasons Joan's government may prefer not to introduce legislation stopping 'basement scooping' is that many of those who dig into subterraneum London are major Conservative Party donors, living in £20 million properties....
It really is time Joan was moved out to pasture and someone like young Greenhalgh moved up to the Lords to replace her. She makes just the silliest possible observation when she remarks that most basements don't have visual impact! Joan dear, that really misses the point


  1. Kensington Resident3 March 2012 at 10:56

    Silly woman

    Anyone in Kensington and Chelsea who has had the misfortune to live next door to a basement excavation knows that it means two years of noise, dust, subsidence, cracked party walls, caved in pavements (whole houses have been known to collapse) interference with the water table and vast quantities of earth being transported in huge lorries with related damage to roads and parked cars.

    No visual impact indeed!!

    These are words from an insulated and rarefied fossil

  2. I think the 'old dear' Joan meant long term. Silly thing, 2 years of nightmare is long term for most who have to endure it.

  3. The Dame is right in her observation that the old bag obviously got the nod and wink (and surely an expensive dinner) from one or two spivs with cash to burn.

    She always was a soft spot for a bit of flattery and indulgence

  4. Greenhalgh is a monster. He has kept Council Tax down at the expense of the poor and vulnerable of Hammersmith and Fulham. Disgrace!

  5. Kensington non-Tory3 March 2012 at 14:13

    What a hypocrite Baroness Hanham is. Check out page 9 of the June 2009 issue of the Royal Borough newspaper available here:

    Then Cllr Hanham was asked "What one thing would improve
    the lot of your constituents?". Her answer was "Less pressure from residents and developers either trying to extend their properties or build subterranean basements or swimming pools."

    Now she has a chance to influence regulation at a national level, and she fights against the needed legislation.

    Rest assured that not everyone active in RBKC politics has been taken in by this woman's charms.

  6. It needs the Dame to unearth all this hypocrisy and double speak.

    Cheap little politician with title. Blows with the wind. Another fair weather friend.

    We could be talking Hanham or Cockell.......

  7. We will find out what the Council thinks on this issue on Wednesday, as the Labour Group has proposed a Motion supporting control within the borough.

    I for one will vote with them, whatever my colleagues decide.

  8. Labour would get huge support from residents if they publicised the fact that they are supporting control of basement excavation.

    The useless Cockell wrung his hands and said "it is difficult, we can do nothing"


    The Opposition Leader, Cllr Blakeman, should contact Dr James Thomson of Chelsea urgently. James has taken a lead on the basement issue and has made a number of submissions to the Parliamentary Working Group. The issue has been too difficult for the lazy Planning set up in Hornton Street to tackle.

    Great to see some life in the Labour group

  9. Cllr. Blakeman and Dr. Thompson have been in contact for some time now.

  10. RBKC's Victorian terraces have shallow foundations suited to clay. The buildings constantly move. Underground developments necessitate massive, immobile foundations. So each newly excavated basement destabilizes the nearest half dozen houses. On slopes yet more buildings are at risk. In some streets most properties now have basement extensions. Millions of tonnes of soil have been extracted, profoundly affecting the natural water table in large areas of the Borough. This has greatly increases risks of subsidence and heave to undeveloped houses. Trees will die. Unless RBKC changes its policies, this will continue till one day a flood results in the collapse of many homes. Ucontrolled underground development somehow exemplifies the limitless greed long centred on Hornton Street.

  11. Well said Gnat.

    This is the kind of informed comment that should be carried forward into protective legislation. This is what representative councillors should be demanding from the apparatus of planners in Hornton Street and the likes of Cllr Cockell should be fighting the corner of the Borough in Whitehall.

    But no. The prat is too busy having "processions" to Jarrow, gorging himself with friends in Keanes (New York), walking with elephants and drawing huge SRA's.

  12. My street, Abingdon Villas, currently has four basement excavations going on

  13. Cllr James Husband (Conservative) lives in Abingdon Villas. And he is a member of the Planning Committee and an ex Cabinet member. He should know the ropes.

    Get on your bike James - do what is right for your residents. Show some muscle.

    Did you notice all of the basement work going on in your street? It is very hard to miss

  14. Very amusing 10.24.

    The blind, deaf and dumb often manage to miss things.

  15. Please lay off Cllr Husband, a very nice chappie.

    He is a follower of the school of Cockell - see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. OR LOSE YOUR SRA

  16. "He is a follower of the school of Cockell - see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. OR LOSE YOUR SRA"

    Anyone who is in any doubt about the belligerent viciousness of Cllr Cockell to councillors who do not tow the Party line, should follow the career of Cllr Freeman who was banished for being a "pain"

    Cllr Cockell also set about Cllr Borwick but she sidestepped the nonsense and showed her mettle on the wider London stage at the GLA.

    The dogs are out again and Cllr Palmer is briefing furiously against Cllr Borwick

    The Conservative group of councillors should know better and put a stop to this bullying

  17. Democracy thrives when the culture "lets a thousand flowers bloom"

    The Tories have a huge majority in K&C and the Leadership could be more indulgent with Conservative councillors. What a forward looking, creative and responsive council this could be if the natural talents of the councillors were fostered, encouraged and coaxed!

  18. The insecure and inferior could never "let a thousand flowers bloom"

    Could not cope.....

    Leaders need to be at ease with themselves and not self interested if they are to bring out the best in people

  19. Fly On The Wall4 March 2012 at 12:02

    Cllr Cockell never likes to do his own dirty work.

    Cllr Palmer is his current assassin


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