Send photos, video and news by texting GUARDIAN SERIES to 80360 (cost 10p), or email us
Plans for 'iceberg' home in Grosvenor Road, Wanstead, rejected
A major refurbishment of a family house has been blocked after concerns were raised by residents that a planned "massive" basement could damage neighbouring homes.
Paul Mead, of 56 Grosvenor Road in Wanstead, had wanted planning permission for a two storey rear extension and other enhancements to his property.
Those living nearby have largely welcomed the planned renovations except for proposals for a 55 metre-square basement.
And last night at a Regional Planning Committee West meeting councillors narrowly voted to reject the bid, amid uncertainty over if they could take into account the basement when deciding on the application.
There has been growing concern over the impact so-called "iceberg homes" nationally, following several cases of super-rich homeowners building large scale underground extensions to their properties.
A bill was recently introduced to Parliament calling for tougher restrictions on such developments, but currently there are few regulations governing them.
Neighbour Raymond Phipps told the meeting: "The average size of a three-bedroom house is 75 square metres - this is 55 square metres. It's massive."
He said there were serious concerns about structural damage.
He added: "These iceberg homes are a growing problem and many lives have been ruined by these developments.
"If allowed this will set a precedent in Redbridge and the floodgates will open".
Fellow neighbour and objector Charles Hollwey said: "The destruction on our properties will be immense. And we can expect this work to last nine months, which will make our lives hell."
Objectors also criticised plans to situate a stairway entrance to the basement along the side of the house, which they said would be intrusive.
But architect Peter French defended the scheme.
He said: "We feel that it will enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area...
"What we are proposing with the basement is nothing greater than you [the council] have already allowed elsewhere in Redbridge".
Committee member Cllr Paul Canal said: "I welcome the fact that it's being redeveloped but I do have some concerns.
"There does seem to be a potential threat to the houses next door...[and] I'm also concerned about the position of the stairs".
Cllr Richard Hoskins also expressed concerns but cautioned against using the basement as a reason to reject the bid because it was not formally part of the planning application - as it only included aspects such as the extension and stairway.
At the end of the discussion Cllr Canal and Cllr Chris Cummins voted against, while the remaining four councillors abstained.
Comments are closed on this article.