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Monday, 19 January 2015


The Dame is delighted to support this, just launched, website.... RESIDENTS FOR BASEMENT JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

Launched by a cross sectional group of residents it accepts though there is now greater control over mega basements the council has much work to do to ensure basement developers are properly controlled.

And remember, it was resident pressure, notably from Dr James Thompson, that forced the council to act on 'iceberg' basements....

Basement extensions
"We are a group of residents who have lived through years of disruption from basement developments in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Our streets have been chaos; our homes have been unliveable; we have
suffered noise, vibration, damage, dust.
Whatever the individual circumstances, our common experience is that the Council has been little help to us. 
They have failed to reduce the disruption and maintain our amenity, despite this being (in the words of
Cllr Tim Coleridge) the single biggest issue of concern for residents ever experienced".

To find out more about Residents for Basement Justice and how to sign the petition just click on the link HERE


  1. About time the Council got a kick from residents. Lazy councillors in a one-party borough who tell us they are making enormous efforts, but it's too little and too late. The blurb is a bit too kind about the Paget-Brown and Coleridge; but we should all support its aims!

  2. What an excellent manifesto. I hope that many people sign it. The recent changes in Stamp Duty have added ca £200k to the moving cost of a medium K&C home. The basement plague will therefore accelerate. It is currently running at 600 applications per year. Expect 1000 within 3 years. This new pressure group is on the button and is much needed. Hornton Street needs a huge kick up the arse - a new Planning man in Cabinet is required and Planning Committee councillors Warwick and Mackover (Chairman and Deputy) need to move on. They are enthralled by developers.

  3. Since they are consulting on basement policy now, this seems well-timed. The lazy councillors (with some excellent exceptions) have used divide and rule for too long, and residents associations just don't provide a united front. This is a chance for some direct democracy!

  4. Recent basement building in Notting Hill created such extreme long term disruption that a resident in a neighbouring house had a premature heart attack and died. Another resident developed cancer. The house itself continues to be subject to subsidence and heave, causing ongoing serious damage. All this to provide a subterranean swimming pool for the benefit of absentee foreigners.

    1. The useless MP Rifkind has been absent from this debate and has done nothing for his residents. And continues to do nothing. Kensington is at the forefront of this basement stuff because of our sky high property prices and Stamp Duty. People who need more room sensibly dig a basement and avoid £400k of Stamp Duty. The cost of moving is prohibitive.

      Rifkind should be thinking through the options and lobbying Government for change. For example Stamp Duty should be abolished for UK buyers (so that people can afford to move) and Stamp Duty should be doubled for foreigners which would bring down London house prices. They do this in Hong Kong and Singapore and it works a treat. Protects the locals from mainland buyers who want a safe investment and buy homes which they do not use.

      Get off the pot Riff.....

  5. I congratulate the people behind this website. I congratulate anyone who stands up against basement development. There is no doubt in my mind that history will tell a tale of how bad these basements are - of both short and long term damage, of incessant suffering and of greed. I have little doubt that future building owners will hide their basements shamefully rather than display them as something to be proud of.

  6. I genuinely hope this movement catches on further. The great efforts by those who got the recent ban on mega-basements in place was the first wave. And now it appears a second wave is taking shape. May that wave come crashing on the shores with fury, putting the likes of Cranbrook and all the others who profit off of residents misery out of business. I look forward to waves three and four until this miserable practice is curbed even more.

  7. As a basement sufferer, I will confess that I considered doing a website like this but never got around to making it actually happen. I say "well done" to those who took the initiative to get this done. Hopefully it will drive some sanity and further vigilance by the Council. I can say with full conviction that the Council was absolutely horrible on the basement next to my home. It really was shameful.

    1. Apathy is the root cause of our problem in the Royal Borough. We need more people like the Independents in Stanley Ward and the organiser of the Basement website to come forward and fight the fight. We need to feed stories to the press so that the poodles and the self serving Kensington MP are shamed into taking notice

  8. RBKC's planning permissions for endless basements are no accident. It has always been organised. Planning committee councillors have repeatedly caught out their officers presenting certain applicants' cases for them. Despite this, those same committee members invariably voted the Tory whip, rather than for residents' benefit.

    Last Tuesday this pattern failed. The committee rejected the Candy's and Riblat's dubious projects. The committee must now address less high profile basements - and reject them. Some will doubtless be won on appeal; others will fail. The cost of this is recoverable from withdrawing RBKC's scandalous subsidy for Holland Park Opera! It's time RBKC was run for people rather than for developers.

  9. At last!! Something Borough-wide! We have some excellent residents' associations in the borough, but they don't cooperate enough. No wonder the council can divide and rule. I hope this is a joint initiative of associations. Its aims are spot-on.

  10. Residents should be allowed to build into lofts if they wish to expand. It is a long-standing nonsense that this is not allowed and this had led to all the unsuitable basements in the Oxford Gardens Conservation Area, where they are seriously disturbing the water table.

  11. We're seeing many basement applications in Hammersmith now, something we were spared up to a couple of years ago but knew was coming down the hill to us. So far, only for single storeys as determined by Local Plan policy.
    Rather than a Mansion Tax, let's have a tax on extensions? Up, sideways, down and on top of other extensions. And a doubling of Stamp Duty for foreigners as recommended above.


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