Search

Tiny Kentish Town street aims to set ‘historic’ legal precedent over basement builds

10:00 11 August 2014

Residents of Quadrant Grove in Kentish Town are defiant over a neighbour's plan to build a basement. Residents from left are Andrew Bache, Nicole Segre, Len Whiting, Khursheed Singh, Lynn Whiting, Barbara Thorndick, Lucinda Sturgis. Picture: Dieter Perry

Residents of Quadrant Grove in Kentish Town are defiant over a neighbour's plan to build a basement. Residents from left are Andrew Bache, Nicole Segre, Len Whiting, Khursheed Singh, Lynn Whiting, Barbara Thorndick, Lucinda Sturgis. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Residents of a tiny street in Kentish Town could set an historic precedent over the legality of future basement builds after becoming embroiled in a “bizarre” planning war with a neighbour and the council.

Households along Quadrant Grove have formed a united front to block the construction of a basement in their “fragile street” – and to oppose controversial powers being used more and more to bypass planning regulations.

It comes after an application for the one-storey basement faltered last year when an independent report procured by Camden Council raised serious questions over the structural impact construction would have on neighbouring houses.

The applicant has now instead sought a “certificate of lawfulness” from the council, allowing them to use “permitted development” powers to build the basement without needing any permission.

The group of furious 40 opposing residents – which includes a high profile QC, a structural engineer and a prominent housing expert – are intent on taking their fight to the courts, the outcome of which could shake up the city’s entire basement construction industry.

Resident Barbara Thorndick, former chief executive of a prominent housing association, said: “Our tiny street cannot cope with basement work, both structurally and in terms of noise, dust and congestion.

“And we’re incredibly worried about the impact it will have on our houses. Basements have become a cause of so much aggro in neighbourhoods across London. They’re not solving the housing crisis and it’s time they were brought under control.”

Building down has become big business in London as property prices continue to rise and land space remains tight.

Amendments to planning laws in 2009 made the practice easier for households, but the residents of Quadrant Grove hope their case will see a reversal in 2014.

Quadrant Grove resident Christopher Sallon, a prominent QC, said: “The law on whether permitted development covers basement builds like this needs to be cleared up.

“We’ve sought legal opinion from expert barristers who say the powers do not cover basement builds. And they say we have a high chance of winning should we need to get an injunction.

“It’s something that has never been taken to the courts before so we could set a precedent across the whole metropolis.

“We recognise it’s very tempting for families to build down but these are tiny little houses with no deep foundations.”

The council is understood to have sought its own legal opinion on the issue but has so far refused to provide it to the residents. The group is currently awaiting its decision on whether construction of the basement will be granted under permitted development.

But their local councillor, Labour’s Alison Kelly, said: “The council must do all it can to make sure the development does not go ahead.

“The residents of this unique oasis of calm mustn’t suffer months of disruption.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

A church community centre is considering stepping up security after its post office was raided for the second time this year.

Yesterday, 15:00

Sadiq Khan will carry out a wide-reaching inquiry into foreign companies buying property in the capital - amid concern the flood of investment has fuelled rocketing house prices in local boroughs.

Yesterday, 13:06

The Ham and High can today reveal the filthiest local restaurants and takeaways which officials say need “urgent improvement”

Yesterday, 13:00

A police officer will not face criminal charges after being filmed repeatedly striking a man with his baton during an arrest even though the police watchdog found he has a case to answer.

Yesterday, 11:38

Firearms officers raced to Prince of Wales Road in Kentish Town on Thursday evening to reports a man had been gunned down.

Yesterday, 07:39

Campaigners are celebrating a double victory in their ongoing battle to stop Hampstead pubs being shut down by developers.

The Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum has succeeded in getting two more much-loved pubs special blanket protection by being listed as “assets of community value” (ACV) by Camden Council.

Thu, 18:00

Plans to stack phone masts on top of a block of flats in Belsize Park have been making waves with angry residents

Thu, 17:38

A popular cafe in Waterlow Park is being dismantled prompting an outpouring of grief from customers who lined up to pay tribute to its charismatic owner

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now