Highgate home of Kate Moss floods from basement work at £100m Witanhurst super-mansion

08:00 26 September 2013

Kate Moss reportedly had to pay thousands in basement repairs when her cellar was flooded. Picture: Ian West/PA

Kate Moss reportedly had to pay thousands in basement repairs when her cellar was flooded. Picture: Ian West/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Some of Highgate’s most historic homes – including that of supermodel Kate Moss – may be at risk of flooding from building works at London’s largest private house after Buckingham Palace.

Witanhurst. Picture: Nigel SuttonWitanhurst. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Residents in the streets surrounding the Witanhurst mansion, off Highgate West Hill, fear that further development of the stately home will cause flooding at their homes again after suffering water damage in previous years.

Lady Gillian Sergeant, 86, has lived in The Grove with her husband for nearly 60 years, but her cellar had never flooded before work began to build a vast double-storey basement at Witanhurst in 2010.

“We had awful flooding when water came up and flooded the cellar,” she said. “We had to get the builders in. We’ve had it ever since they’ve been working on Witanhurst.

“We don’t want it to go on but how can we stop it?”

Kate Moss, who lives in the area, reportedly had to pay thousands of pounds in basement repairs 
after her cellar was flooded.

Reports of dampness and flooding in Highgate Village basements began after excavation works to build a £50million underground palace began at Witanhurst in 2010.

Although it is not known what caused the flooding, residents think it is linked to the construction works at Witanhurst.

Chairman of Fitzroy Park Residents’ Association Karen Beare said: “The problem of flooding happens when you have a significant basement blocking a significant ground water level, which floods neighbouring basements.

“Lady Sergeant told me she never had any problems underneath the house before. It’s too coincidental that Witanhurst has had nothing to do with it.”

When the vast subterranean 
development was finished late last year, the basement flooding came to an end.

But Highgate’s residents are worried their cellars will continue to flood in the face of even more building works at Witanhurst.

Plans submitted to Camden Council last month reveal details for an underground link between staff quarters beneath the main house and the gatehouse off Highgate West Hill.

Highgate Society planning and development chairman Elspeth Clements said: “We are hearing a lot of tales about basements.

“What we are trying to do is to get information and evidence from people affected so the council is more careful in approving basements next time.”

Further plans for the Witanhurst mansion 
include the refurbishment of the gatehouse, so that the building serves its original historical purpose as a point of 
entry for guests and the occupants, as well as providing access to the estate for staff and deliveries.

A spokesman for Camden Council said anyone applying to develop homes underground must provide a Basement Impact Assessment detailing the effect of the work.

He said: “For each new basement application, assessments identified no significant issues related to surface flows and flooding as a result of the additional basement works.”


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:26

Controversial plans to build a 10-storey “big ugly block” of luxury flats in Hampstead were last night waved through by Camden Council.

Yesterday, 07:00

A row has broken out over plans to dig out a basement car park and swimmming pool next to Hampstead Heath.

Thu, 17:15

A heritage campaigner has told of his devastation after he watched raiders ransack a disused pub that he fought to preserve.

Thu, 15:45

A historic red phone box in Highgate Village could soon be a tiny office space, complete with printing, scanning, copying and wifi

Thu, 11:00

Camden parents were forced to pay a total of £20,000 in school fines in the last year, new figures have revealed.

Thu, 07:08

This year’s Hampstead Christmas Festival has been called off, the Ham&High can reveal.

Wed, 19:00

The vicar believes the flags were taken down on both occasions as part of a targeted ‘homophobic attack’ on his church’s open and inclusive values

Wed, 17:39

Women have been warned to be vigilant when using the Black Path in West Hampstead after a lone female was sexually attacked in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


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


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

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?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now