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    BUILDER FATALLY INJURED IN BASEMENT PROJECT COLLAPSE

    Death of workman highlights recent spate of basement project incidents 

    A builder working on a basement extension in Fulham SW London has been crushed to death after a floor collapsed on 2nd December. The 37-year-old man is reported to have died after being trapped under rubble at the scene.

    Police and HSE are now investigating after doubts about the structural stability of the building delayed recovery of the body. It is believed the work was being carried out by Siday Construction from Hertford, a firm specialsing in the basements extensions to existing properties.

    Rise in incidents cause concern

    There have been other incidents recently involving basement conversions in London.

    A street in the Belgravia area was reported as “looking like a bomb site” after the road collapsed beneath a large skip on a basement project in October 2010.

    Residents question the decision of Westminster Council which approved plans for excavations to create a cinema and gym below a neighbour’s £2.9million property.  One resident said:

    “These sub-basements are absurd. As neighbours, we will discuss whether to collectively take legal action. We are all bemused as to why Westminster gave permission for this to go ahead when almost everyone in the area objected to it.”

    Meanwhile, in north London The Heath & Hampstead Society believes: 

    “we have already endured too many collapsed or damaged homes neighbouring newly-dug basements, too much land instability in the local environment, and too big an increase to the ever-present risk of floods.

    It is no longer tolerable that Camden should give planning permission to, for example, triple, that is, 30ft basements in this beautiful, but unstable, and hilly conservation area. It’s time to stop the digging.”

     

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