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So it takes a Labour MP to fight the corner of Conservative residents.
Basements are an issue that transcend party lines, yet Malcolm Rifkind-possibly one of the UK's most indolent constituency MP's and Greg Hands, whom the Dame normally praises, have chosen to absent themselves from a debate that directly impinges on the lives and welfare of those who vote for these two on autopilot.
The Dame is no supporter of Karen Buck, but on this one she deserves all our praise.
It's is astonishing that the leadership of this Borough did not take the opportunity to support Buck's Ten Minute Motion and show they actually cared about out of control basement development in our Borough.
This is from the Dame's Lobby Correspondent....
"Buck then introduced a bill to tame the basement craze now gripping the capital's most salubrious neighbourhoods as Russian oligarchs' loot, French funk money, ill-gotten gains of the Arab elite and Greek tax-dodgers all pour into the supposedly safe haven known as the London property bubble.
Buck was talking about cavernous 14,000 sq ft bunkers for ballrooms, gyms, cinemas, staff rooms, games rooms, spas, gun rooms, garages and plant rooms, far bigger than the above-ground house. Even local duchesses protest that "no one needs that much space" – only "marginally smaller than Westminster cathedral" in one planning application.
Yet rich neighbours and planning restrictions in posh Westminster and Kensington are powerless to resist the lawyers and money which loutish developers deploy to destroy once-lovely streets that survived the Luftwaffe. The poor know dispossession only too well, but it is a novelty for duchesses.
Buck's bid to cap cellar mania was backed by dangerous leftists such as Kensington's Tory MP, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Red Riffo's hour has come."