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Protest over Mikati group’s London mega-basement plan: report
A view over Cadogan Place is seen in Kensington, London April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
A view over Cadogan Place is seen in Kensington, London April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
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BEIRUT: Residents in one of London’s poshest neighborhoods are fighting plans by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s M1 Group to develop a “mega-basement” beneath two apartment buildings that they say will ruin their lives with unwanted noise and disruptions, reports the London Evening Standard.

The British daily reported Tuesday that the M1 Group, a holdings company founded in the 1960s by Mikati and his brother Taha, “wants to dig out a two-level subterranean extension for a 50ft pool, cinema, wine cellar, and staff quarters below two properties in Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea.”

The plans, which go before the neighborhood boards of Kensington and Chelsea next week, are being opposed by some of the residents of the 10-flat mansion block, who are appealing to landowner the Earl of Cadogan to block the development.

One resident told the Standard: “One of the reasons I moved here was because of the peace and quiet.”

The resident added: “We are in the centre of London but you wouldn’t know it. All the neighbors respect each other. If they let them dig this out the noise and disruption would be enormous. I for one would move out instantly, and from what I hear many others here would do the same.”

Earlier this year Kensington and Chelsea put forth guidelines to limit basement dig-outs to a single floor, but they have been challenged by developers, the daily reported.

The M1 Group is a privately owned, multi-billion dollar financial and industrial conglomerate with interests in telecoms, real estate, transport, as well as oil and gas.

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