We felt real sympathy for a couple in the news last month facing an impossible battle against development that will have real impact on their lives. In case you missed the article, the Campbells, a family in Lincolnshire have learnt that a large quarry is going to be built less than 100m from their home.
Following a ruling that Bird & Bird had acted negligently over their clients purchase of a £26m property in Camden, London, they have lost their efforts to set aside a ruling.
I really do sympathise with 2Birds enormously and feel this is unfair. You might think it is strange that I say that, and suggest that my business has an interest in them losing. It does, but that does not change the fact that I feel 2Birds attempted to be diligent and thorough and yet have been hung out (I will tell you how this can be avoided later). I applaud every solicitor that wants to do a thorough and proper job on every case, and I really resent cheap conveyancing that does the bare minimum. This judgment punishes the former approach. I still maintain that the expansion of the school in question would not have made a jot of difference to the value of this investment property. This is proved by the fact that Elizabeth Murdoch paid £3 million more for the same property after Orientfield Holdings served a notice of rescission before completion. This whole case hangs on the responsibility of the solicitor providing a Plansearch report to also produce a summary of its contents.
If proof were ever needed of the ongoing demand for basement space in London, this month, the amount of cash paid smashed all expectations, after a developer signed over a staggering six-figure sum for the mud underneath an existing block of flats.
The ground underneath a London mansion block was sold for £150,000 at auction as an ‘unexcavated basement’. It has no planning permission and it is believed to be the first time that such a deal has been struck where the developer must work around – or rather below – existing homes.
DevAssist do huge amounts of work in London. In the high value areas one of the most common risks we uncover are basement extensions. Sometimes referred to as Iceberg homes these amazing feats on engineering are great for the end users.
Here we identified positive development with a negative twist. To the east was a large industrial site that was going to be developed for circa 600 flats with commercial, restaurants, coffee shops etc.