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Latest London basement dispute in High Court next week

Camden resident’s appeal against council’s decision to grant neighbour’s basement extension in High Court on 22 November

A Camden resident who is challenging Camden Council’s decision to grant his next-door neighbour permission to build a basement extension, will have his appeal heard in the High Court next week.

The case will decide the extent to which homeowners can bypass formal planning permission to build basement extensions.

Mr Eatherley, who lives in Quadrant Grove, Camden, appointed London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen to challenge the council’s decision to grant a lawful development certificate for permitted development for the basement extension of a neighbouring property, on the grounds that it requires substantial engineering not within the permitted development rights.

A petition against the development has already been signed and submitted to the council by 32 neighbours, while a council consultation received 12 objections citing a number of challenges to the development, likening the scale and extent of the excavation works to an “engineering operation”, a loss of residents’ parking and the potential for structural damage to neighbouring houses.

Jayesh Kunwardia, housing partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, is acting on behalf of Mr Eatherley in seeking judicial review. He says: “My client has been fighting this proposed development for almost three years. He did not want to take legal action but feels he has been backed into a corner by Camden Council’s decision-making.

“Not only would the development unquestionably have significant noise, traffic and dust impact on the local area, but you also only have to look at the small size of the street to see the potential damage building traffic might do to residents’ parked cars. All we’re asking for is for Camden Council to apply some common sense.”

This is the latest high-profile ‘basement wars’ case in London as the number of planning applications for basement extensions in the capital has doubled over the past two years, according to construction analysts Glenigan. In the summer, Queen guitarist Brian May accepted £25,000 in damages as a result of a neighbour’s basement extension. He claims he is being forced out of Kensington because basement extensions are turning the area into a “hellhole”.

Hodge Jones & Allen has engaged Marin Westgate QC of Doughty Street Chambers and Gwion Lewis of Landmark Chambers to act in the court proceedings.

The two-day hearing will take place in the Planning Court of the Royal Courts of Justice, beginning at 10am on Tuesday 22 November 2016 and will conclude on the morning of 23 November 2016.


All press enquiries to:

Louise Eckersley, Black Letter Communications on 020 3567 1208 or 07766 573844, email:
Notes for Editors

Hodge Jones & Allen

  • Hodge Jones & Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice.
  • For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
  • The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
  • Co-founder Patrick Allen is still at the helm of the firm he co-founded in 1977.
  • In 2016 the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.