A wealthy family was lucky to escape after their five-bedroom detached London home collapsed in the middle of the night. The mishap was attributed to attempts to install an underground bedroom and playroom.
According to Kingston Council, the work may have been done without obtaining approval from local building control inspectors first, and the matter has been brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive.
The £1.15 million home in Southwest London was empty when the building collapse occurred at close to 1:00 a.m. Hundreds of bricks gave way at the property and doors and windows were left in a pile.
The owner, originally from Saudi Arabia, had submitted a planning permission request that included the demolition of an on-site conservatory, swimming pool, and outbuilding. He also sought permission to increase the roof height and build a two-storey side extension and iceberg basement.
Cllr David Cunningham of Kingston Council said that the property owners had submitted a building regulations approval only two days previously and did not receive approval or guidance for carrying out their works.
Mr Cunningham said that the council’s primary concern was to ensure that the remaining building was structurally sound. It is working with contractors to complete the work as soon as possible. Afterward the building is made safe, the incident will be reported to the Health and Safety Executive for further investigation.