'Irresponsible' plan for Hampstead murder mansion
Susanna Wilkey PLANS to demolish and rebuild the Hampstead home of the murdered author Allan Chappelow have been slammed by residents as dangerous because of a proposed 30ft basement. Developers have applied to knock down the dilapidated 2,500sq ft hous
PLANS to demolish and rebuild the Hampstead home of the murdered author Allan Chappelow have been slammed by residents as "dangerous" because of a proposed 30ft basement.
Developers have applied to knock down the dilapidated 2,500sq ft house on Downshire Hill and replace it with a 7,000sq ft building, much of which will be below ground. Objectors claim this is hazardous as Hampstead's clay soil has a high number of underground springs.
Last month Camden Council introduced a stricter policy on basements and objectors are regarding this as a test case to make sure the new rules are upheld.
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Chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society Tony Hillier said: "They want to replace it with a house which is too big and absolutely monstrous. This is in the area in Hampstead on the edge of the London clay and there are massive springs underneath and already a great deal of flooding in Downshire Hill. These proposals break six of the 13 issues that Camden is looking for as part of its new policy on basements.
"We are jumping up and down on this one. We have already objected, as have a lot of other people. This is an area which is very unpredictable and the hydro-geology really should not be messed about with in Hampstead."
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Stephen Ainger, chairman of the Downshire Hill residents' association, added: "The track record of Hampstead speaks for itself - there have been several big basements built which have resulted in substantial damage and partial collapse of the neighbouring houses.
"The developers want to dig 20ft deeper than the neighbouring houses and have had no detailed structural work done beforehand which is irresponsible."
Comments on the application must be made to the council by tomorrow (Friday).
o THE Chinese conman who murdered reclusive Hampstead millionaire author Mr Chappelow and stole his identity has been jailed for at least 20 years, writes Ben McPartland.
Wang Yam, 47, battered Mr Chappelow to death and buried his body under half a ton of paper at the victim's �2.5million mansion on Downshire Hill in May 2006.
Last Thursday at the Old Bailey, Mr Justice Ouseley sentenced Yam to life imprisonment for murder and ordered he serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole.
"I have no doubt those blows were inflicted with intent to kill a defenceless man," the judge said.