Will Kate Mosses Basement Flood her Neighbours? – No

The Telegraph has a catty but inaccurate piece on the proposed ‘basement excavation’ (see below) on her £7.95 million Grade II listed new home, The Grove, at Highgate Hill, which was built by Blake and owned by Coleridge. Annie Lennox is a few doors down and friends Sienna Miller and Jude Law in the neighbourhood.


The application which includes basement gym and steam room

local Green Party councillor Maya de Souza has weighed into the debate by warning that the work could disrupt local water supplies.
Explaining her reservations, she said: “My concern is the impact on groundwater flows. This has been known to impact severely on neighbours and can affect water bodies like Highgate ponds as well as causing construction-related nuisance.
“Large basements can mean huge numbers of lorry movements which cause too much disturbance and a risk to other residents.”
She added: “I’ll be asking for proper reports on groundwater and the early submission of a contract management plan and if they are not satisfactory I’d like to see the application refused.”…
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “Kate’s house is beautiful as it is – why is she so determined to turn it into something it is not?”
He added: “The groundwater in Highgate is easily disturbed and can easily cause flooding to neighbours if workers are not very, very careful.
“A number of basement conversions in the area have caused serious problems in the past and the people who live around here just want them to stop.”

So what about the science?

A report by Arup Geotechnics for K&C last year found

A solitary, isolated basement is unlikely to affect groundwater flows. It has been suggested that it may be useful to require subterranean developers to leave a buffer of soil between adjacent basements in order to enable groundwater to flow around and between individual basements. This provision is unlikely to be necessary as the groundwater in London’s water table can tend to find an alternative route, even under obstructions as large as “city blocks”. Concerns about theimpact of subterranean developments on groundwater levels and flows are likely to be misplaced.

However one would expect councillors to actually read the planning application notifications and look at the plans. The application is for listed building consent only. There is no basement excavation Andrew Lloyd Webber stylie.

The application is solely to for modest alterations, not excavations or extensions, as the plans show, including a tiny gym and steam room entirely within the existing sub-basement. I hope the Telegraph and the good Cllr apologise to Queen Kate.

6 thoughts on “Will Kate Mosses Basement Flood her Neighbours? – No

  1. Pingback: Monday Roundup 22nd August #NPPF « Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

  2. Local people were told by the Press that Kate Moss was building a basement; the Highgate Society’s comment was that we would have to see the plans first, and when we did, found that there was no basement. We said that we therefore had no concerns. The Telegraph did this to us a few weeks before, with Jude Law’s proposed basement; we said that it was so small that we had no problem with it, but it did not stop them putting on their website “Jude Law at loggerheads with Highgate Community” and “influential Highgate Society resolves to block the plans.”
    However, you misunderstand the basements issue in this part of the world. There is now a gadarene rush to build palatial residences with huge basements overlooking Hampstead Heath (one currently ghoing up or, rather, down is 22,000 cubic metres), on what is the watershed of Hampstead Heath. One lone basement is, of course, of no concern; but a string of them will set up a cofferdam effect which could seriously affect the water supply to the Hampstead Ponds in this area of very complex yet poorly understood hydrology. This is potentially so serious that the City of London (owners of the Heath) are very worried about it and are taking it very seriously; why not talk to them? The proliferation of unknown underrond springs and streamlets in the area has already resulted in developments causing severe ground water problems for neighbours.

  3. Pingback: “The Telegraph did this to us a few weeks before, with Jude Law’s proposed basement” « Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

  4. My neighbours in Chelsea have built basements and underpinned my house resullt 3 years of excessive filth and noise and now my house is damaged on all 3 floors i do not think people should be allowed to do this.

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