Dealing with the misery of basement excavations

I was delighted to read of the rejection of the application for a basement development in Kingstown Road, Primrose Hill. I was especially pleased that the planning inspector took into account that the construction would have adversely affected the charact

I was delighted to read of the rejection of the application for a basement development in Kingstown Road, Primrose Hill. I was especially pleased that the planning inspector took into account that the construction would have adversely affected the character and appearance of the conservation area and adversely impinged on the lives of other residents, having a few years ago been in a similar predicament.

The Hall School applied for permission to construct an underground swimming pool which on its own estimates would have taken at least nine months and 300 lorry loads of earth to be removed. The misery this would cause to neighbours can easily be imagined, coupled with a very real subsidence risk to our homes.

Camden rejected the application and the decision was upheld by the inspector following an appeal by the school.

Clearly there must be something wrong with a system which allows the construction of luxuries such as underground gyms and pools, whilst the very real concerns of neighbours whose lives are to be disrupted and whose homes may be damaged are not able to be taken into account. It isn't good enough to be told, as we were, to 'wait and see' what happens if an application is approved as the only recourse if a home is damaged is to try to seek compensation, it being a private matter in law.

When considering any application for basement development, it is essential for Camden to ensure that the amenity and structure of neighbouring properties and also the lives of neighbours are not adversely affected and that the conservation area is not damaged by the cumulative effects.

ANTHONY KAY

Most Read

Crossfield Road, NW3