Search

Victory against Hampstead mega-basement that risked plunging family home ‘into abyss’

16:39 09 April 2014

Oliver Froment's home sits on two columns at one side. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Oliver Froment's home sits on two columns at one side. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A father has won his battle against a huge basement leisure complex after planning chiefs agreed the project could have caused his house to collapse.

Father-of-two Oliver Froment breathed a huge sigh of relief after Camden Council rejected his next door neighbour’s plan for an underground cinema, library and games room in Pilgrim’s Lane, Hampstead.

Councillors sitting on last Thursday’s development control committee feared that the 3.75metre-deep excavation could have jeopardised the stability of Mr Froment’s home, which sits above the ground on two pillars on one side.

The proposed excavation area went right up to the columns holding up the house, which he shares with his wife and children.

The 63-year-old managing director of a financial services firm criticised the council’s planning officers for recommending the scheme’s approval.

“I have given up months of my life to this and been a nervous wreck,” he said.

“What I can’t understand is how the application got this far in the first place.

“If the planning officers had done their jobs, it would have saved a huge amount of taxpayers’ money and individuals’ money.”

Committee member Cllr Flick Rea (Liberal Democrats) said that her “gut instinct” was that “this is a house that’s going to fall into the ground”.

Neighbours including Lady Pamela Hare, The Countess of Listowel, and solicitor Nusrat Zar, an expert on human rights and freedom of information, also opposed the project.

Ms Zar, who lives two doors away, said: “The application could cause harm and result in ground instability and the risk of flooding.

“Mr Froment’s house is at real risk of damage or even collapse and it could leave an entire row of houses exposed to water overflow.”

Hampstead Town members Cllr Linda Chung (Lib Dem) and Cllr Chris Knight (Conservative) both spoke out against the application, with the latter saying the building was in danger of falling “into the abyss” if the excavation went ahead.

Councillors were also concerned about the size of the excavation, saying it was only slightly smaller than a design rejected in 2011.

Michael Doyle, the applicant’s agent, said: “We have not yet decided whether to appeal or submit another scheme, but my client is very disappointed.

“The councillors’ decision contradicted officers’ advice. This was a much-reduced scheme.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

The London Fire Brigade hosed down the car just outside a disabled parking bay in a residential street

Yesterday, 17:25

Anger over the proposed cycle-superhighway CS-11 has fuelled calls for Hampstead to become an independent parish council, granting the area planning powers separate from Camden.

Yesterday, 16:31

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

Yesterday, 16:01

Change is afoot in Highgate as a consultation on a new Neighbourhood Plan opens

Yesterday, 15:03

Hampstead High Street and Muswell Hill Broadway could lose their Maison Blanc stores under a review that has been launched into the high-end patisserie chain.

Yesterday, 07:00

Crime campaigners fear gang warfare is spilling onto the leafy streets of Hampstead and Belsize Park after two shootings and a knife attack this month.

Tue, 14:39

Staff will trace Lord Lauderdale’s steps on the journey he may have taken to visit his mistress before Lauderdale House opens once more

Tue, 12:12

The mixed pond on Hampstead Heath will be ‘women only’ for two weeks in October after management confirmed the ladies’ pond will close so that work can be carried out.

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