Property show presenter Kirstie Allsopp has hit out at her neighbours for their “incredibly annoying” basement conversions.
The Location, Location, Location star said as well as causing disruption, the fashion for digging down to extend properties was also causing the housing market to stagnate.
The 40-year-old presenter lives on a street in Holland Park where a number of neighbours, including Lord and Lady Sainsbury of Turville, have converted their basements.
Nearly 40 applications for such work in the road have been submitted to the council in the past ten years, with a third submitted in the past two years.
Miss Allsopp said: “Everyone is digging down right now to make extra space where they are. It’s happening in my street and it is incredibly annoying as there is so much noise and disruption.
“At the top end, where the (stamp duty) rate is now at seven per cent, it leaves people with little option but to dig if they want more space.
“As well as the noise and disruption, it is making the market stagnant.”
Last week, at least five properties in the street were being renovated, with builders at two homes admitting they were working on basements.
Miss Allsopp’s outburst has ruffled a few feathers with neighbours on the west London street.
Neighbour Jane Hewson, 35, who had a new basement installed, said: “It’s a free country – Kirstie Allsopp can say what she likes. I personally think people can’t complain.
“Every inch is valuable. We are all living on top of each other and we have to use the space.”
Cezary Bednarski, an architect excavating a basement at another nearby property, said: “Objecting on the grounds of noise and disruption is an emotional response rather than a practical one. Maybe the neighbours are jealous.”
But Miss Allsopp won support from Guy Buckley, 76, who lives on her street.
“I agree 100 per cent with Kirstie. Basement excavations always create damage to the neighbouring property – cracks and so on.
“People shouldn’t be allowed to excavate. They should find other alternatives.”