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London's 'iceberg homes' plumb the city's depths

Basements built beneath luxury homes sidestep planning rules

Published Thu, Mar 12, 2015 · 09:50 PM

London

IN London's most upmarket districts, shovel-wielding teams are hard at work in what look like mines hidden beneath luxury homes, sidestepping the British capital's planning rules by expanding underground.

Some of their more hi-tech kit may end up buried there - it is reported that the cost of bringing it back above ground is more than its value - and the bowels of the British capital have already become a graveyard for around 1,000 excavating machines.

The trend started in the late 1990s, when residents developed small basements, calculating it was a cheaper way of increasing floorspace than moving house while sticking to the strict height rules imp…

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