Skip to main content

London basement extensions as normal as loft conversions, study finds

London basement extensions as normal as loft conversions, study finds

19 July 2021

With their underground swimming pools, cinemas and art galleries, London’s luxury basement developments have long provoked envy and disgust as depositories for the hidden wealth of the super-rich.

But a study that has mapped all the 7,328 basements approved by 32 boroughs and the City of London between 2008 and 2019 has found that the majority of these developments were built for affluent professionals rather than oligarchs, with the researchers saying they have become as normal as loft conversions.

The schemes contain 532 swimming pools, 814 cinemas, 1,695 gyms, 689 wine cellars, 607 games rooms, 342 steam rooms or saunas and 154 staff quarters, according to an analysis of planning applications by researchers at Newcastle University’s School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape.

The report, Bunkering down? The geography of elite residential basement development in London, calculated that the combined depth of all of these schemes would be 15.8 miles (25.5km), equivalent to 31 times the height of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The research was led by Professor Roger Burrows, Professor Steve Graham and Dr Alexander Wilson as part of a Linked Reserach project in the academic year 2019/202 which resulted in the Bunkering down? The geography of elite residential basement development in London report being produced.

Read the full article on The Guardian website