Search

Former Lloyds Banking boss takes basement swimming pool fight to UK’s highest court

09:00 27 March 2014

Former Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Victor Blank. Picture: PA/Lewis Whyld

Former Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Victor Blank. Picture: PA/Lewis Whyld

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A former banking tycoon’s hard-fought battle to stop a basement swimming pool being built near his home is heading to the highest court in the country – even though the basement plans have never won approval.

Lord Justice Leveson. Picture: PA/Gareth FullerLord Justice Leveson. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

Former Lloyds Banking Group boss Sir Victor Blank, 71, is bidding to take his legal fight against neighbour Scott Franklin’s proposed basement extension in Hampstead Garden Suburb to the ­Supreme Court.

His fight to obtain an injunction to stop Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust from making a decision on Mr Franklin’s plans was rejected at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Sir Victor’s legal bills are ­believed to be spiralling into six figures, having already been forced to pay the trust’s £65,000 costs for the original High Court case.

He is one of a number of high-profile Suburb residents, including TV star Richard Madeley and judge Sir Brian Leveson, who are concerned that the proposed basement excavation – including an indoor swimming pool, a games room and wine cellar – could damage their nearby homes.

Sir Victor’s decision to try to take the case to the Supreme Court follows news that Mr Franklin’s basement plan was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate on March 11.

The inspector turned down the plans because the basement would damage one protected 80-year-old tree.

Lawyer Joanna Lampert, representing Sir Victor, said the Supreme Court bid was motivated by a “point of principle”.

She said: “It’s a long way ­removed from whether Mr Franklin should have his swimming pool or not. It’s a point of law.”

The trust has policies to protect the architectural standards of the Suburb and householders must obtain approval before making changes to the outside of their properties.

Last year, lawyers instructed by Sir Victor tried to obtain a High Court injunction to stop the trust from approving the basement plans.

It was argued that the trust would be in breach of its “covenant” with Sir Victor entitling him to “quiet enjoyment” of his home.

This claim was rejected by judge Mr Justice Henderson last April and the subsequent appeal was turned down by three judges at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

Trust manager Jane Blackburn said: “The Court of Appeal’s ­decision confirms the trust’s powers to preserve the character and amenity of the Suburb and is a welcome development.”

Sir Victor and Mr Franklin did not wish to comment.

The trust was set up in 1968 to preserve the character of Hampstead Garden Suburb, which was founded by Henrietta Barnett as a “model community for people of all classes living together in beautiful houses”.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

17:00
Mini Mozart Protestwith Clare-Louise Shaw  outside The Venue in the O2 Centre after the their last class. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A popular toddler group which plays classical music to Hampstead’s babies has been banished from its new home after being embroiled in a bitter row with another pre-school club.

11:55
David Cameron. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin.

Conservatives in Hampstead have spoken out to defend residents after Prime Minister David Cameron attacked Labour leader Ed Miliband for personifying the “we-know-best attitude of the Hampstead socialist”.

11:51
Have your say: Take part in our General Election 2015 survey

With a month to go before the 2015 General Election we want to know your views.

16:20
Mayor of Camden at Celebration lunch for students of Children and Young Peoples Workforce course at Sidings Community Centre. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A new education programme allowing mothers in West Hampstead to study close to their homes has celebrated a 100 per cent success rate.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder