Yesterday afternoon a £3.8m house in The Terrace, Barnes collapsed during a basement excavation. According to the BBC no-one appears to have been injured.
Matthew Hearsum, a solicitor-advocate at Morrisons Solicitors LLP and author of the forthcoming textbook “ The Law and Practice of Basement Extensions” said:
“It is fair to say basement extension are an unpopular type of development, and this incident shows why. The damage can be catastrophic if the works are not designed, executed and supervised by experienced experts.
We do not yet know what the cause of the collapse is. However, given that The Terrace is within a functional flood plain of the Thames, it is likely that interference with the groundwater played a part in the collapse.
The planning application was decided in October 2014. Under Richmond Council’s new basement rules – brought in in May 2015 – this basement would not have been permitted at all because it is in a functional floodplain.”