Disruption and misery when people dig deep

There are numerous flaws with the planning process generally, and in relation to basements in particular. From my experience, the most unfair aspect is that no consideration whatsoever is taken of the disruption and misery extended building works can caus

There are numerous flaws with the planning process generally, and in relation to basements in particular.

From my experience, the most unfair aspect is that no consideration whatsoever is taken of the disruption and misery extended building works can cause.

The law takes no account whatsoever of this aspect and yet in many cases this is what upsets local neighbours the most.

Basements provide an extreme example of this kind of misery because the disruption can last years and the works are very noisy, when piles are sunk in the ground and large amounts of earth are removed. Planning laws are unprepared for basement developments as they were drafted before the technology existed to make them possible.


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Tony Hillier and the Heath and Hampstead Society (H&H letters February 4 & 11) are trying to convince Camden officers that there are weapons in the council's legal armoury which they can use to respond to local residents concerns about these developments.

My own view is that a thorough review of the planning process is necessary to improve the voice given to local people and balance the rights of the developer with the rights of the individual residents.

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In the meantime it is local action which will make the difference. We were very grateful for the assistance we received concerning one such application from Cllr Chung but the absence of help from Cllrs Knight and Roberts was revealing.

It would seem that, rather than spend time helping those in Hampstead they have been elected to represent, they would rather jump on a bandwagon and put their efforts into electioneering through the pages of this newspaper (H&H letters February 11).

David Bouchier

South Hill Park, NW3

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