Scottish Daily Mail
Dame Joan’s neighbour begins 2-year basement dig
AS SCHEMING Alexis Colby in Dynasty, Dame Joan Collins terrified enemies into submission. In real life, the actress is far less persuasive. Although Dame Joan, 83, has been outspoken in her complaints about the chaos caused by extensions in her swanky district of West London, a property developer has now bought the house next door to hers for £15.35 million and begun transforming it into a vast ‘super home’.
The developer, Wainbridge, which is based in tax-friendly Jersey and backed by wealthy Russians, is digging out the basement to create a huge complex beneath the terrace house that will include a swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room, treatment room and ten-seat cinema.
The 108ft basement will stretch the length of the garden and beneath a mews house that backs onto the property. The developer paid £4.95million for the mews property in 2014.
Neighbours have reacted furiously to the plans. ‘This is yet another unnecessary “vanity project” by a wealthy foreigner which will risk both the fabric and character of the properties in this street,’ boomed one anonymous complainant on Westminster City Council’s website.
‘It has also reduced the residential capacity, which runs against all logic given current demand for London property. I wish to express my gravest concerns and objection.’
The protester claimed the project, which is expected to take two years, ‘risks unacceptable instability to our property, interference with groundwater flow and general disruption to the buildings in the vicinity’.
Earlier this month, Dame Joan said: ‘My street is like a building site with all the renovations, and I think excavating basements is very bad for the infrastructure.
‘I already have a pothole outside my house that even the council cannot address to find out why the subsidence is happening.’
The actress made those comments after Westminster council announced Britain’s first ‘basement tax’.
Sadly for Dame Joan, her neighbour’s planning application was approved earlier this year.