A property developer has angered neighbours with plans to build a £70 million mansion – with a basement that stretches for 200FT under the garden.
Robert Beecham wants to bulldoze an already substantial six-bedroom home and replace it with a 24,000 sq/ft property.
The current home, in trendy Primrose Hill, North London, is located around 50 metres off the main road.
Mr Beecham, an entrepreneur who made a fortune selling Star Wars toiletries, wants to keep a similar footprint above the ground but build a subterranean extension which stretches beneath much of the garden.
Plans put together by Wolff Architects suggest the basement will be around 200ft long – the same as seven London buses and among the longest in the capital.
If approved, the vast space will boast a banquet hall, games room, swimming pool, gym, pool hall, cinema and kitchen.
Estate agents in the area believe the home could be worth more than £70 million – but plans haven’t gone down well with some of the locals who have written strong objections to Camden Council.
One elderly resident said: “I am 88-years-old and I rarely leave my home. My favourite place to sit is by the window of my front room watching over the calm and quiet street I have lived in for over 30 years.
“But if my neighbours are allowed to demolish their home and add 16,102 sq/ft to the property this will require an extensive period of construction.
“During this time I will be subjected to noise, dust, vibrations, loss of air quality, traffic issues.
“The peace and quiet of my window seat will be entirely lost and there will be a detrimental effect to the quality of my life.”
She declined to discuss it any further but said that CRAAC – the Camden Residents Associations Action Committee – is taking up the fight against basements in the borough.
The plot of land includes two houses – a large white building that is set back from the road up a long drive, and another brick house closer to the street.
Both are hidden behind large gates, one of which is made of solid 6ft high stainless steel.
Plans were submitted to Camden Council in August and a final audit report is due to be published next week ahead of going to the development control committee.
It plans are approved, it will be the latest mega-mansion to be built in North London.
Elsworthy Road is next to The Avenue, a tree-lined street full of grand ambassadorial homes, many of which have been developed in recent years.
Trevor Abrahmsohn, who runs Glentree Estates, is a fan of subterranean extensions and believes Mr Beecham’s proposed property could be worth as much as #70 million-plus if planning is approved.
He said: “It is one of the largest proposed basements I have come across.
“The great advantage of a basement extension is that you can have whatever ceiling height you like and create a magnificent space.
“I almost think basement as a word is a bit derogatory. It implies it’s a dark, dank place. Today they are the reason some people buy a property.
“You can now get natural light when there are no windows, you don’t need windows for the cinema and, because it is below the ground, sound isn’t as much of an issue.
“Thirty-years ago 6,000 sq/ft was a large home but these days it is 25,000 sq/ft.
“Where an outside pool was once a luxury, they are now filled in as it is all about having an indoor leisure complex.
“If this house gets the go-ahead you would be looking at it being worth around £2,500 per sq/ft to £3,000 per sq/ft.”