Westminster Conservatives have voted to give planning permission to the Howard de Walden Estate for a triple basement to house a proton beam therapy unit in Devonshire Mews West, Marylebone, a quiet residential cul-de-sac in Marylebone, despite adopting a new Basements policy this summer which restricts basements to just one level and despite objections from 17 local residents for whom the mews is their home. The one Labour Councillor on the Planning Committee voted against the triple basement.
One resident said:
“I really feel that the Council’s own policy on basements, in particular so soon after its adoption, would be jeopardised were an exception be made and this development be permitted. I have no doubt you will appreciate, that although this project may serve a worthy medical cause, it is totally ill-suited for this quiet residential cul-de-sac mews. More fundamentally, were this project to get consent, it would just make the promises of the council to protect the residents through its new policy on basements just sound extremely hollow.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Labour Environment spokesperson, said:
“It is extremely disappointing that the Council’s new Basements policy, which has cross-party support, should be breached so soon by this triple ‘super basement’ that is totally unsuited to a quiet cul-de-sac mews. Surely, a more appropriate commercial location, away from residents, would have been more appropriate for the years of construction, disruption, noise and dust that are involved in digging a triple basement? Many residents in Marylebone, St John’s Wood, Bayswater and Pimlico will now be asking if their street is next for a Westminster Council-approved triple basement?”