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Kensington not a bastion for the super-rich

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP welcomes decision on controversial basements Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Conservative MP has welcomed a local authority's decision to "call time" on "excessive" basement extensions in one of London's wealthiest areas.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind - MP for Kensington - says basement developments are a controversial issue in his constituency.

He has spoken in a local newspaper column of his delight at moves by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to limit their size saying he does not want Kensington to be seen as "simply a bastion of the super-rich".

"As many Kensington residents will be aware, this has been a controversial issue for some time," said Sir Malcolm in a column in the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.

"A sense of proportion is needed, which finds the right balance between the rights of individual homeowners to develop their properties on the one hand with the rights of their neighbours and the community-at-large to be guaranteed a certain level of peace and quiet on the other.

"The Royal Borough has also expressed fears that excessive subterranean developments may threaten the area's natural heritage, whether it be trees and greenery or our many listed buildings. These are concerns I share wholeheartedly."

He added: "Kensington is sometimes dismissed by outsiders as simply a bastion of the super-rich. This has never been the case, nor do I wish it to be so."