Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Hidden Luxury

A study of 4,650 basements granted planning permission approved by seven London boroughs between 2008 and 2017 in some of the capital’s most affluent neighbourhoods reveal 1,000 gyms, 376 pools, 456 cinemas, 381 wine stores and cellars and 115 staff rooms, including bedrooms for nannies and au pairs.  Other amenities uncovered in the research include 547 media rooms, 340 games and recreation rooms, 242 saunas or steam rooms, 63 underground garages and parking facilities, and one car museum. Two basements had more than one pool, including one with an artificial beach.

The study only covers the basements granted planning consent under existing properties. Other basements have been constructed under new homes. One new mansion in Notting Hill, on sale for £25m, includes a double-level basement with a 21-metre swimming pool.

The most extravagant schemes include a three-storey basement in Holland Park, Kensington and Chelsea, with amenities including a swimming pool, plunge pool, beach, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, media room, gym and staff quarters.
A three-storey scheme in Mayfair, Westminster, which was granted planning permission under an existing basement, features a swimming pool, cinema, car park, sauna, steam room and dance floor.
A single-storey basement in Primrose Hill, Camden, includes a Turkish bath, Roman bath, cigar room, swimming pool, plunge pool, sauna, massage room, cinema, games room and bar, wine store, pilates room, gym and banquet hall.
Roger Burrows, professor of cities at Newcastle University, said: “In many areas of ‘super prime’ London planning restrictions often makes it impossible to extend properties laterally or add floors on top. Consequently residential basement developments in the wealthiest parts of London have increased markedly.”
The study shows how the size and splendour of basements varies across the seven boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, the wealthiest boroughs surveyed, have the highest number of swimming pools. In contrast, the researchers found only three mega basements in Hammersmith and Fulham, and none in Haringey, Islington or Wandsworth. The streets with the highest numbers of basements granted planning permission include Tregunter Road in Chelsea with 22 and Hamilton Terrace in St John’s Wood with 16. Some of the latter basements extend to properties on the adjacent Hamilton Close.

No comments: