Mega basements in the Hampstead area
Camden Council is preparing to introduce rules limiting basement excavations to one-storey and banning them under listed buildings.
At the Glass in Hand Lecture presented by the Heath & Hampstead Society on 23rd April 2015 Michael Eldred, Director of Eldred Geotechnics delivered a most informative lecture on basements in the Hampstead area. Michael Eldred is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers, a Corporate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Member of the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists.
Residential basement schemes continue to prompt dispute and cause considerable misery for those who, while not benefiting, are forced to suffer damage and endure the construction process.
Comprehensive answers are far beyond the competence of most engineers, nevertheless, engineers play a part in the process. So this was a very informative contribution from someone who doesn’t act for developers but, despite having witnessed the problems, is not prejudiced against basements in principle.
The lecture focused on the ground engineering aspects of problems in Hampstead. It was based on a lifetime of wider engineering experience. The talk was about engineering reality. The objective was to dispel some of the misunderstandings that exist, cut through the dogma that has developed around basements, and start ripples that encourage a different thought process.
The relationship between engineering and regulations was addressed. Regulations are always changing. In Camden a new version of CPG4 is being discussed. Nationally, April 6th saw the start of new HSE Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. They will, or should, have an effect on the way residential basements happen.
To view Camden’s draft policies and read about the consultation, visit camden.gov.uk/localplan