The independent London newspaper

Planning departments are not scrutinising basement developments properly

04 January, 2019

• I WONDER if Londoners are becoming “burrowers” not wanting street air any more, as it is polluted beyond World Health Organization guidelines, (Battle of the ‘basement’ dig, December 27).

Council planning departments are not stringent enough in scrutinising basement planning applications. Stav Danous, the BBC weather presenter, was quoted in the New Journal in May 2018 saying, “Unlimited basement developments in any one street have already been seen to have the effect of redirecting existing water courses and underground springs with, frequently, disastrous effects for neighbouring properties.”

Another aspect of this development, construction and infrastructure craze, is that air pollution soars.

There is a huge development being built 10 metres away from my rear wall, and now also a “basement dig” across the road, where its immediate neighbour is just one-third of a metre away from the planned basement extension, and on the other side that neighbour’s house is one metre away, and in the rear of the planned basement extension it’s two metres away from the third neighbour’s property.

Apart from the danger, pollution, noise and vibration, how will the construction traffic for the spoil and machinery from two construction sites in such close proximity manage? And that’s before the HS2 train infrastructure project starts to tunnel.

Well! Then an even bigger housing development where Morrisons supermarket is now, is set to go, and that’s just down the street.

A recent CT scan showed my lungs were not so good… is this progress? Can the government ever begin to think out of the box and see the larger picture in more environmental terms?

There are rows of empty houses in cities north of here. Massive numbers of trees cut down throughout England, with a dearth of manufacturing and transport there in the mix too.



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