Home Residential Property Bye bye billionaire basements? Kensington bans underground super-homes

Bye bye billionaire basements? Kensington bans underground super-homes

by LLP Editor
22nd Mar 13 10:44 am

The “iceberg homes” craze in boroughs of the rich and famous might become a thing of the past as Kensington and Chelsea Council plans to ban multi-storey basements. (Find out more about this mega-rich property trend in our feature: London’s billionaire basement mania: luxury living or living hell?)

The Council has published new draft rules to restrict basement excavations to just one storey and to stop residents digging under listed buildings. The council also plans to impose tighter limits on how far homeowners can extend under a garden, and will make installation of pumps compulsory to prevent flooding from sewers.

Last year, the council received 307 applications for multi-storey basements – a huge leap up from 64 in 2003.

One of the most outrageous plans for billionaire basements seen over the years is Foxtons founder Jon Hunt’s proposal of digging 22 metres beneath his Kensington Palace Gardens home for a private Ferrari showroom, a tennis court, pool and a gym.

Canadian cable TV tycoon David Graham too received flak from neighbours for his plans of creating a four-storey basement beneath his Knightsbridge home, which comes with a swimming pool, spa, ballroom and no fewer than 12 bedrooms.

Back in January, Lord Justice Leveson, TV presenter Richard Madeley and former Lloyds chairman Sir Victor Blank launched a campaign to stop an underground swimming pool being built near their Hampstead homes.

The luckier of the lot is Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich who got the go-ahead to build a £100m dream home at his riverside home in Cheyne Walk.

Basement plans have always irked neighbours, who generally complain that construction of iceberg homes causes noise pollution and disruption.

Matthew Wright, TV presenter and The Wright Stuff host, who’s battled with disruption from basement excavations of neighbours, told LondonlovesBusiness.com last month, “My neighbour’s basement construction destroyed my life. It went on for seven days a week, 52 weeks a year!”

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