Not surprisingly, in the aftermath of the building collapse at 26 the Terrace, rumours have been circulating about its cause(s). Whatever the cause, no-one at this time can know the answer to the complex questions that arise from the collapse until full facts and a detailed, expert investigation is conducted and has reported its findings.
There are inevitably commercial interests in the village for whom certain outcomes of such an investigation would necessarily require them to give amended advice to their potential clients and they are hoping to second-guess that outcome with hasty comments such as, ‘it’s nothing to do with the works’, ‘it isn’t the basement that’s at fault’ etc
To make our position clear:
1 We are not against basements per se. We are in favour of better protection for the neighbours of basement excavation and for neighbours’ concerns to be heard and acted upon.
2 We would like to see better control and more qualified preparation and scrutiny of the research and engineering involved in lengthy developments of this kind.
3 We do not yet know the causes of the building collapse at no. 26 Terrace
4 The press across the capital have taken great interest in the incident because the issue of basement excavation is topical, controversial and newsworthy. Journalists contacted us, as they did other residents near to the Terrace, for comment, we did not seek them out. There are basement stories in the London newspapers virtually every week. It was inevitable that this collapse would generate speculation as to its cause. Other buildings and parts of them, usually those of neighbours, have collapsed in recent years in many places in London as a result of basement excavation, some including fatalities, so it is not altogether surprising that discussion would turn to whether it was a factor in this house that had recently had a basement extension excavated.
5 We have no agenda nor financial interest in making basement excavation safer. Our aim is to protect neighbours from the misery that they so often experience, by improving the protocols by which the council operate Planning Policy.