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Monday, 25 March 2013


From The Guardian

Iceberg homes: how basements of the rich cause hell for their neighbours

To get around planning regulations, the wealthy in areas such as Kensington and Chelsea dig huge basements that cause building chaos and even subsidence
Hidden world: how an 'iceberg home' can look.
Hidden world: how an 'iceberg home' can look.
Age: As old as the world's first wine cellar.
Appearance: Just like any other mansion.
What are iceberg homesHomes like icebergs.
Freezing cold? No.
Prone to sinking cruise liners? Not quite.
Melting? Not really. It's called an iceberg home because, as with an iceberg, quite a lot more of it is lurking beneath the surface.
Why are the neighbours consternated? Partly because of the noise and disruption of up to two years of building works.
And? And partly because in a few cases the digging has caused their own homes to fall apart.
Really? Yup. Excavation work under Goldman Sachs director Christoph Stanger's mansion has caused shifts in the foundations, forming cracks and trapping neighbouring residents in their flats behind doors that no longer open.
And what are the council doing about it? Until recently, almost nothing.
Seriously? Seriously. Of around 1,000 planning applications for basement extensions made in the last five years, more than 800 have been accepted and – as of November – only 90 refused. Planning laws prohibited building upwards, but, as one architect put it: "There was nothing to stop us from drilling all the way down to the south pole."
And did they? Some are getting close. Canadian TV tycoon David Graham, for example, has produced plans for a four-storey basement bigger than his house itself.
But now the council's going to put a stop to it? Not really. New draft rules will prevent digging under listed buildings and reduce the amount of a garden that can be excavated, but they don't come into force until the end of the year.
Meaning? Meaning for now they may just cause a rush on planning application forms and massive drills.
Don't say: "Well, the servants need to live somewhere."
Do say: "Why not go to an actual bloody cinema?"


  1. But some fear the threat of a deadline will lead to a sudden surge in “under the wire” applications.

    One west London resident said she had been approached by “ambulance- chasing” architects who said they would get her permission for a basement that would add millions to her home’s value — for a fee of £30,000.

  2. Stand Up For Britain27 March 2013 at 06:25

    The K&C Council has been asleep on the job for too long. More than 1000 basements, and sheer hell for thousands of residents, and the pathetic Council is "consulting". And of course the useless MP Rifkind is nowhere to be seen

    Local Government at its worst

  3. This sorry state of affairs would not have happened on a UKIP watch. They have not forgotten solid British values

  4. All part of the Cockell regime. He could not care less about residents and this trickles down to the rest of the organisation. So long as Pooter has his expense account to entertain friends at swanky New York restaurants and train fares to Peterborough to "discuss" how he can spend K&C council tax on building homes in far off places for Kensington residents, the prat is happy.

    What a sorry state of affairs. And a bunch of poodles who are too self interested to put an end to it


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